The last time Walker Buehler faced the Cardinals, he threw seven scoreless innings.
Tonight, he threw eight scoreless.
Behind a dominant start from the rookie, and two homers from Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers moved into a tie for the second wild-card, earning a 3-0 victory over St. Louis.
On the night, the Dodgers were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base. That didn’t matter though, as two solo shots and a wild pitch would bring in all three runs.
The Dodgers put one on the board in the second inning. Puig worked a nine-pitch at-bat, winning the battle, and hitting his 17th home run of the season.
Nine pitches later, it's time to say goodbye. pic.twitter.com/p5A2O4SYye— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 15, 2018
The bats would go quiet until the seventh. Cody Bellinger reached after being hit by a pitch, and Puig promptly followed with a single. Chase Utley would pinch-hit and advance both of the runners to second and third.
With two outs, Joc Pederson stepped up to the plate. A passed ball from Yadier Molina would score Bellinger. Puig, playing probably a little too much hero ball, tried scoring from second. He would be thrown out, but LA was able to tack on an insurance run.
For Walker Buehler, it wouldn’t even be needed. On the night, he was practically un-hittable. He was perfect through 4 1⁄3 before allowing his first base runner.
It was the first time in his young career he went eight innings. His nine strikeouts tied a career-high. It’s the third time in Buehler’s last five starts that he has struck out nine batters.
In the eighth, he faced his biggest threat of the evening. With runners on first and second, Matt Carpenter stepped up to the plate. For the third time on the night, Buehler got Carpenter to strike out.
Yasiel Puig would hit his second homer of the game in the ninth. For Puig, it’s the fifth time in his career he’s hit two homers in a game.
Kenley Jansen came in to pitch the ninth. He plunked the first batter of the inning, but got the next three outs, securing the save and the Dodgers victory. For Jansen, it was his first save since September 1.
The Dodgers will look to move into sole possession of the second wild-card spot on Saturday as Rich Hill (8-5, 3.88 ERA) will face off against John Grant (7-5, 3.16 ERA) at 10am PT.
Home Runs: Yasiel Puig, 2 (18)
WP: Walker Buehler (7-5) 8 IP, 0 ER, 9 SO
LP: Jack Flaherty (8-7) 6 IP, 1 ER, 8 SO
SV: Kenley Jansen (35) 1 IP, 1 SO