Walker Buehler to start Game 1 of the NLDS for the Dodgers

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - — Jorge Castillo, Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers ended the sus­pense Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, a cou­ple of hours prior to their fi­nal work­out be­fore the post­sea­son: Walker Buehler will start Game 1 of the Na­tional League Di­vi­sion against the Washington Na­tion­als on Thurs­day.

Buehler got the nod over Clay­ton Ker­shaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu, a con­tender for the NL Cy Young award. The 25-year-old right-han­der fluc­tu­ated be­tween dom­i­nant and hit­table dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son af­ter an ab­bre­vi­ated

spring train­ing hin­dered his first month.

Buehler posted six dou­ble-digit strike­out games — five with­out is­su­ing a walk — while also not log­ging more than five in­nings in eight of his 30 starts. He fin­ished 14-4 with a 3.26 earned-run av­er­age in 182 1/3 in­nings and was an All-Star for the first time. He boasts the high­est ceil­ing among Dodgers’ starters, but also the low­est floor.

Buehler al­lowed two runs in five in­nings Fri­day against the San Fran­cisco Giants in his fi­nal out­ing of the reg­u­lar sea­son. He walked four and struck out eight. He was in­ef­fi­cient, need­ing 104 pitches to se­cure 15 outs. Af­ter the game, he said he was “tin­ker­ing” with his me­chan­ics, some­thing he is al­ways will­ing to do. He in­sisted he was not con­cerned about work­ing on his de­liv­ery so close to the post­sea­son.

Buehler op­posed the Na­tion­als twice this sea­son. On May 11, he pitched seven score­less in­nings in a Dodgers loss at Na­tion­als Park. On July 28, he sur­ren­dered seven runs (four earned) on eight hits in 5 1/3 in­nings at Dodger Sta­dium.

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