The Los Angeles Dodgers are opting to start right-handed pitcher Walker Buehler for Game 4 of the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants. Buehler will be pitching on short rest, after starting the series opener on Friday.
Walker Buehler will start Game 4 tonight.— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 12, 2021
It was presumed going into the series that Game 4 would be a bullpen game for the Dodgers, with righty Tony Gonsolin getting the most action. But with the Giants taking Game 3 in thrilling fashion, thus putting the Dodgers backs firmly against the wall, Dave Roberts is managing with a sense of urgency.
The good news for the Giants is that they get to try and clinch the series against a pitcher who had just three rest days following a 99-pitch outing. The bad news for the Giants is ... well ... Buehler is very good, as is Julio Urías, who now becomes the starter in a potential Game 5, instead of being a bullpen arm.
If you’re looking for reason to be optimistic, here it is: after getting dominated by him early in the season, the Giants have actually had a fair amount of success against Buehler lately. In his first five starts against the Giants, which occurred in May, June, and July, Buehler pitched 34 innings and allowed 20 hits, 8 walks, and 3 earned runs, with 32 strikeouts.
In his two starts since — a September game and Friday — Buehler has pitched 9.1 innings, while allowing 13 hits, 2 walks, and 9 earned runs, with 6 strikeouts.
I think it’s safe to say that both fanbases will be very nervous heading into this one.