Wednesday’s finale between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds at Dodger Stadium had a heavy Vanderbilt presence, as a pair of former Commodores in Walker Buehler and Sonny Gray faced off against each other.
Both right-handers were dominant early on, but it was Buehler who outdueled Gray in the end. The Dodgers ultimately pulled out a slim 3-2 victory, propelled by A.J. Pollock’s clutch three-run home run in the sixth inning.
Gray allowed just the three runs, but Buehler fared even better, limiting the Reds to one unearned run in 6.1 innings pitched with eight strikeouts against only one walk.
After the game, Gray praised Buehler and revealed that the two have gotten to known each other in recent years, per Steve Henson of the L.A. Times:
“I enjoy Walker,” Gray said. “He’s as good as they get. We’ve hung out more than a handful of times.”
While Gray and Buehler both played for Vanderbilt, the two were never teammates. Gray enjoyed a three-year career at the university from 2008-11, guiding the Commodores to a College World Series berth during his junior season.
Buehler additionally had a three-year career at Vanderbilt from 2013-15 and posted tremendous numbers which included a 20-7 record and 2.88 ERA in 49 appearances.
Buehler attributed his strong start against the Reds to getting his body and arm moving in sync. In four games this season, he is 2-0 with a 5.40 ERA, 3.10 FIP and 1.20 WHIP over 18.1 innings pitched.