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Should the Dodgers start Walker Buehler on short rest?

The Dodgers’ season is on the line tonight

Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants - Game One Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Yes they should.

I was thinking of ending the article there, because my answer is short and sweet. However, I thought I should provide some context for the Dodgers’ biggest decision of the season tonight.

The Dodgers lost last night, putting them behind in the series, 2-1. One more loss and their season is over. All series, we pretty much assumed that tonight would be a bullpen game, with Tony Gonsolin seeing a bulk of the innings. Dave Roberts never committed to saying whether or not they’d use an opener or just start Gonsolin outright, but that seemed to be the plan.

Well, plans change.

Had LA won last night, I think it would have been a no-brainer for the Dodgers to use Gonsolin and go with a bullpen game tonight. But with your season on the line, do you possibly risk not using one of the best postseason starters over the last five years? I think the Dodgers have to start Walker Buehler tonight.

The interesting thing here is that Buehler has never pitched on short rest. Not in the regular season or postseason. So, this would be something new for him.

Following the game last night, Roberts was asked about who will start Game 4. Here was his response.

“I think we got to circle up as a group,” he said. “What I will say is that everything’s on the table.”

When asked if that means Buehler can start, Roberts yet again said that everything is on the table. Well, I think Buehler starting would qualify as “everything”.

Following the game, Albert Pujols spoke with the media. Based on his response to a question about Buehler, he seems pretty confident that Buehler would be going tonight.

“I think he’s going to go out there and we expect the same thing,” Pujols said. “And I think as the offensive side our job is to score some [runs] for him and hopefully take the pressure a little bit off him.

“But I think he’s going to do what he does all year long. He’s going to throw the ball pretty well. I know he’s coming on a short rest, but I think he’s going to be pretty excited. The fans are really going to be really excited and hopefully we can push this game to Game 5 in San Francisco.”

If the Dodgers were to go with Buehler, they certainly wouldn’t need seven innings or anything like that out of him. The bullpen is fully rested and tomorrow is a day off, so you will have fresh arms for these next two games. If he’s able to go 4-5 innings and then turn it over to the bullpen with a lead, that would be the perfect scenario for the Dodgers.

Tonight is the biggest game of the season for the Dodgers. Do they turn to the biggest postseason arm currently in baseball?


Would you start Walker Buehler on short rest tonight?

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