Buehler’s counterpart Patrick Corbin overcame early control problems to pitch solidly, as he allowed two runs and one earned run over six innings. However, the Washington bullpen, a shortcoming for almost the entire season, allowed the Dodgers to pad their lead in the middle and late innings.
Why the Dodgers won
To see how the NLDS Game 1 unfolded in real time, take a look at our live blog below. Note the unexpectedly high hop that ball took toward the end of its journey into Rendon’s glove. What a play.
Game 2 is back at Dodger Stadium and scheduled for a first pitch 9:37 p.m. ET on Friday. Stephen Strasburg goes for the Nats, and he’ll do so on just two-days’ rest. On the other hand, he threw just 34 pitches across three innings in the NL Wild Card Game. Opposing him will be Dodger stalwart Clayton Kershaw, and he’s of course the author of much inconsistency throughout his playoff career. He’ll surely be tested, as the potent Washington offense was somewhat better against lefties this season.
Why the Nationals lost
We will be with you the entire way updating this story with the latest scores, highlights and analysis from the game. If you are unable to view the live updates below, please.
Play of the game
Buehler got an impressive 18 swings and misses in those six innings of work. This gem makes Buehler the youngest pitcher in MLB history to allow zero runs and no more than one hit while striking out at least eight batters in a postseason start. Most encouragingly for the Dodgers, his dominant outing comes after what had been a subpar September by his standards. The Dodgers took Game 1 of the best-of-five NLDS in Dodger Stadium on Thursday night as they blanked the Nationals by a score of 6-0 (box score). The Dodgers got six shutout innings from 25-year-old right-hander Walker Buehler, three RBI from Max Muncy, and back-to-back home runs from Gavin Lux and Joc Pederson to ice it in the eighth inning.
While the six runs and two homers are duly noted, this was about Buehler. Over those six shutout innings, he struck out eight, walked three, and allowed only one hit. He peaked at 99 mph with his fastball, and that’s to say nothing of his breaking stuff: Yes, the Nats lost, and yes Chris Taylor was safe on this play, but man look at the snare by Anthony Rendon:
It also continues a recent trend of postseason excellence from Buehler. Among Dodgers, his 37 strikeouts through five postseason starts ranks second only to Sandy Koufax’s 39 strikeouts over that same span. Enviable company, that. Buehler’s also the first pitcher in MLB history to strike out at least seven batters in each of his first five postseason starts. So, yeah, he was the story on Thursday night.