LOS ANGELES – Walker Buehler will get the ball Tuesday with the Los Angeles Dodgers season online. He will start Game 4 of the NL Division Series at Dodger Stadium and pitching on a short layoff for the first time in his career.
Buehler, who will face San Francisco Giants right-hander Anthony DeSclafani, will pitch on a three-day rest, a relatively quick turnaround after allowing three runs in 6⅓ innings and taking the loss in Game 1 on Friday.
The decision, which comes from Los Angeles’ 1-0 loss to the Giants on Monday night, is due in large part to Clayton Kershaw being unavailable for the postseason due to persistent inflammation in his forearm / elbow. Clearly, the Dodgers don’t employ a fourth starter they trust as much as Buehler with a short layoff.
Tony Gonsolin, 27, was the conventional option, but he allowed eight runs in his last 12 innings of the regular season. Another option was David Price, but the former Cy Young Award winner has spent most of this season in a nondescript bullpen role and he’s not necessarily stretched.
If the Dodgers hadn’t turned to Buehler, the most likely scenario was that they would present the equivalent of a bullpen game, with Gonsolin and Price likely keeping in mind.
The Buehler starting Game 4 means Julio Urías, a 20-game winner this season, will line up on normal rest for a potential Game 5 from Oracle Park in San Francisco on Thursday, assuming Urias is not needed out of the bullpen for the Dodgers. to survive Game 4. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Monday night that “everything is on the table.”