The Los Angeles Dodgers survived the single-elimination Wild Card Game and now meet the San Francisco Giants in a highly-anticipated National League Division Series showdown. It begins Friday night with Walker Buehler taking the mound opposite Logan Webb for Game 1 at Oracle Park.
Buehler is back on the Dodgers’ postseason roster after unsurprisingly being left off for the Wild Card matchup due to effectively being unavailable because he started on the last day of the regular season.
So the right-hander gets his first opportunity to add to what’s been a successful career in the playoffs thus far and help the Dodgers use their walk-off win as a springboard.
“The playoffs are about momentum, and [Wednesday] night it certainly was one of those moments that can create that and help us going forward,” Buehler said on the eve of his NLDS Game 1 start. “So feel good about where we’re at and getting ready to go.”
As for being able to potentially lean on his personal postseason triumphs, Buehler noted the NLDS presents a new wrinkle with the Dodgers facing an NL West opponent and storied rival.
“I mean, it’s something that I’ve enjoyed playing in in the past couple years and had some success, so a little bit different playing a team in your division, so go out and see what we got and hope for the best,” he said.
The NLDS matchup is the first time the Dodgers and Giants have ever met in the postseason.
“Outside of it being a team we’ve played a lot, I think for us it’s one of those things where we’ve had lot of success in our division and they had a special year, and I guess for us this is kind of the way to settle it,” Buehler said of the Dodgers’ NL West reign being snapped.
“But we’re happy to be here and happy to still be in the playoffs and look forward to playing these five games.”
Buehler, Giants share familiarity
The regular season saw the 26-year-old going 3-1 with a 2.19 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in six starts against the Giants. However, Buehler’s last time facing San Francisco was a struggle as he pitched just three innings, allowed six runs on seven hits and took the loss at Oracle Park.
“It’s kind of two-fold, right? They know me and we know them,” Buehler said. “So not going to talk too much about it, but obviously look and see what we can change. The last one against them wasn’t great, but felt good about the ones before that. So we’ll figure it out.”
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