Dodgers News: Cody Bellinger, Kiké Hernandez Praise Walker Buehler For Self-Confidence & Talent

Over the last two years the Los Angeles Dodgers counted on young starter Walker Buehler to come through for them in crucial games, and each time, he proved to be up for the challenge.

That was again the case in Game 5 of the National League Division Series on Wednesday night as Buehler tossed 6.2 innings of one-run ball in the decisive contest against the Washington Nationals, leaving with a 3-1 lead.

The Dodgers bullpen was not able to hold onto that lead, however, and they were defeated, 7-3, in 10 innings to mark a disappointing end to a historic season.

While Los Angeles did not come out on top, there is no denying that Buehler did his part. After striking out seven, he has now recorded at least that many in all six of his postseason starts to begin his career.

“He’s incredible, man,” Cody Bellinger said of his teammate. “He’s got electric stuff and knows how to use it. “He loves the big moment, loves being the dude on the mound and he shows it every time.

“There’s not a question about who wants the ball in certain situations. Tip your cap to Buehler, he gave it all he had. He’s a beast on the mound.”

Kiké Hernandez echoed Bellinger’s thoughts about Buehler’s talent. “A stud. Walker’s the man,” Hernandez said.

“If what he’s done the last two years doesn’t put him in the conversation to be one of the best pitchers in the game, with what we saw tonight, I’m sure we’re going to start talking more about it.

“For him to this early in his career put the team on his back so many times the last few years speaks to how talented and the type of player he is. He wants it. He wants to be the guy to put us over the top. Tonight he did that. He put us in a great position to win this ballgame and at the end of the day we fell short for him.”

With Clayton Kershaw being one of the culprits out of the bullpen that squandered the lead, in addition to losing Game 2 of the series, and Hyun-Jin Ryu potentially departing in free agency this winter, Buehler will likely enter the 2020 season as the unquestioned ace of the Dodgers.

He logged a career-high 182.1 regular-season innings across 30 starts in 2019, so it appears there won’t be any sort of restrictions on Buehler, which hasn’t necessarily been the case in his first two full Major League seasons.