clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dodgers turn to Walker Buehler as pennant race heats up

LA sends the 24-year-old to the mound for the biggest start of his young career

Los Angeles Dodgers v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

With only five games remaining, the Dodgers hold a tight 1 12 game lead in the division. They’re arguably playing their best ball of the season at the moment, but so are the Rockies. Unable to separate ground, the Dodgers have held the same lead since Saturday.

Looking to keep the Dodgers afloat is Rookie of the Year candidate, Walker Buehler.

The 24-year-old is coming off of arguably the best start of his young career. Last week against the Rockies, Buehler had a career-high 12 strikeouts in only six innings.

On the season, Buehler has seven wins and an ERA of 2.74. He also had 143 strikeouts and a WAR of exactly three. How good are those numbers? Since 1995, only six other rookie pitchers have posted those kind of stats, including former Dodger Hideo Nomo, Jacob deGrom, Jose Fernandez, and Roy Oswalt.

Since 1972, 13 rookie pitchers have posted those numbers, with seven of them taking home Rookie of the Year honors. Only one finished worse than third in ROTY voting.

Buehler has only faced Arizona once this season, coming three weeks ago on September 2. He allowed one run in 6 13 innings, while striking out nine.

For Arizona, they’ll send Matt Koch to the mound. Similar to Buehler, Koch has only faced off against the Dodgers once this season. He faced LA back on May 1, going five innings and allowing two runs. On the year, he owns a 4.26 ERA.

Koch was moved to the bullpen in June, but is once again in the starting rotation, replacing Clay Buchholz, who is out for the season.

First pitch is at 6:40 pm on SportsNet LA.