If there’s a good way to begin a playoff series, this is it. Walker Buehler fired 6 scoreless innings and the Dodgers bullpen took it the rest of the way, leading them to a 6-0 win over the Nationals.
Buehler got the start over Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu and showed why. He fired 6 scoreless innings and allowed just one hit with 8 strikeouts. He now has a 16 inning playoff scoreless streak.
“Just what we wanted, just what we expected,” said Cody Bellinger.
“He loves the spotlight, loves pitching big games, loves this atmosphere. He answers the bell every time,” said Justin Turner. “If you know Walker, it’s not surprising. He’s very, very, very, very, very confident in himself. He loves it. He thrives on these situations.”
Another Dodger who seems to thrive in the playoffs is Max Muncy. Muncy drove in 3 of the Dodgers’ 6 runs with a bases-loaded walk in the first and a two-run single in the 7th.
“Oh, they’re good, they’re really good,” said Nationals’ manager Dave Martinez. “That’s why they have been in the postseason so many years in a row.”
With the game 1 win, the Dodgers put themselves in a great position. In the history of the best-of-five postseason series, Game 1 winners have won the series 72% of the time.
“In a short series, Game 1 is huge,” said Turner. “Now we get to hand the ball to Kershaw tomorrow. that’s good news for all of us.”
As Turner said, Clayton Kershaw will take the mound for the Dodgers against Stephen Strasburg in Game 2 of the NLDS. Kershaw went 16-5 on the year with a 3.03 ERA and Strausburg was 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA. In his one start against the Nationals this year, Kershaw allowed 2 runs over 6 innings. In his two starts against the Dodgers, Strasburg allowed 2 runs over 6 innings and 1 run over 7. The game will begin at 6:37 pm.