Dodgers News: Walker Buehler ‘Pretty Comfortable’ Heading Into Game 1 Start Against Brewers

The Los Angeles Dodgers starting Walker Buehler in their first postseason game last year didn’t come as much of a surprise. The young right-hander had emerged as their best starter amid Clayton Kershaw enduring a bit of an inconsistent season.

There appeared more room for a conversation and perhaps reversion to Kershaw getting the ball in Game 1, but the Dodgers kept with the same order as last October. In doing so it’s affording Buehler and Kershaw each with an extra day of rest prior to taking the mound in the Wild Card Series.

The decision was also another vote of confidence in Buehler, particularly when factoring in the first round being a best-of-three Wild Card Series. Of course, Buehler has already proven more than capable of handling a pressure-packed moment.

“I don’t know if there’s anything different about what I try to do in the playoffs or a big game,” he said. “I think I’ve been very lucky and fortunate to be in some big spots before I got into pro ball. I got a fewer test runs, I guess.

“(Game) 163 was a big point for me, and then failing in Atlanta was big for me. It’s not like I’ve done this for 10 years, but I feel pretty comfortable with what I’ve done in the playoffs previously. I just want to keep that going.”

While Buehler has positive history in pitching Game 163 to clinch the National League West in 2018, and also Game 7 of the NL Championship Series and Game 3 in the World Series that same year, he finds more value in struggling against the Atlanta Braves in the NL Division Series.

“I think you learn a lot more,” he noted. “Out of success, I think you can become more confident or the nerves kind of take a step back, because you’ve done it before. But I think when you fail, you have to kind of re-assess and then that confidence is kind of built from the ground up.

“I just got lucky in ’18 to be on a team with the guys that we had. We lost a game in Atlanta, and Rich Hill came out and dominated the next night. No harm, no foul, we moved on to the next round. I threw bad at home against Milwaukee and then I got another chance at it.

“I think the biggest thing is I’ve just been on some really good teams that when I failed, it hasn’t cost us. I kind of said that all year with myself, especially earlier in the year. I don’t think that’s changed very much. I’m just happy that we’re here.”

Roberts felt Buehler, Kershaw were interchangeable

In announcing the Dodgers elected to start Buehler in the Wild Card Series opener and Kershaw in Game 2 on Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts expressed the order easily could have been flipped.

“We just feel that puts us in the best spot in those two games and also going forward. They’re interchangeable. It’s one in the same, to be quite honest,” Roberts said.

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in our shows, and more!