One loss away from elimination, the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers are tapping their ace for Game 4.
Walker Buehler will start Tuesday night in Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers announced. He pitched Game 1, so will be going on three days’ rest. Buehler will start opposite Anthony DeSclafani.
The Giants scored three runs in Buehler’s 6.1-inning series-opening start. Both Buster Posey and Kris Bryant took him deep.
Buehler has faced the Giants seven times this year. In the first five meetings, he held SF to a 0.79 ERA. But he allowed six runs in their final regular season meeting and stumbled in Game 1. Overall, the Giants are 4-3 in matchups against the Cy Young contender.
Buehler, 27, has shown a propensity for rising in big moments. He has a career 2.53 postseason ERA and allowed one run in 13 World Series innings in 2020.
He’s never pitched on three days’ rest before in his career. If Buehler can lead the Dodgers to a victory, that would put Julio Urías in line for Game 5 on regular rest. Urías went 20-3 in the regular season before pitching five one-run innings in LA’s 9-2 win over the Giants in Game 2.
Based on Dodgers manager Dave Roberts’ statements from Monday, Tony Gonsolin will be part of the game plan. It’s possible Buehler pitches the first three or four innings and Gonsolin, a right-hander with a 3.23 ERA, picks up from there.
Roberts took a page out of Gabe Kapler’s coach speak dictionary after SF beat the Dodgers 1-0 to take a 2-1 series lead, saying “everything’s on the table” for Game 4. On the brink of elimination, the Dodgers have no other choice.