Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
In the bottom of the fourth inning in Game 6 of the National League Championship series, Eddie Rosario came to the plate with two on against Walker Buehler not long after the Los Angeles Dodgers had pulled even.
Manager Dave Roberts opted to let Buehler face the left-handed-hitting Rosario instead of going to Alex Vesia or Justin Bruihl. Buehler got to an 0-2 count before Rosario fouled off a few pitches and took a ball.
On the seventh pitch of the at-bat, he lined a three-run home run to give the Atlanta Braves a 4-1 lead that wound up propelling them to the World Series.
“I just felt right there the way Walker was throwing, I expected him to keep going,” Roberts explained. “And the stuff wasn’t compromised.
“There was a walk to d’Arnaud, then the broken-bat double and I just felt that he had enough stuff to get through that and to keep going. He got ahead 0-2 and we just couldn’t put him away.”
All seven pitches Buehler threw to Rosario in the at-bat were 93 mpg, consisting of five cutters and pair of two-seam fastballs. Rosario homered on the fifth cutter of the at-bat.
“Obviously that’s a pitch that Walker feels good with, but certainly you can tell that Rosario was sped up,” Roberts said. “I don’t want to second guess a sequence, but certainly we could have done different things, but we didn’t. But certainly he was on the hard stuff.”
The home run gave Rosario 14 hits in the NLCS — the most by a Braves player in a single postseason series. It also tied an MLB postseason record for most in any LCS.
Rosario was named the NLCS MVP player after the win.
Buehler dismisses fatigue
That Buehler was even on the mound Saturday night at Truist Park was a bit of a surprise itself. After the Dodgers staved off elimination at home, the expectation was for Max Scherzer to start against the Braves in Game 6.
However, lingering arm fatigue required the Dodgers to change course and move Buehler up a day as he was due to start a potential Game 7. Despite being shaky at times in the outing, Buehler refuted the notion that fatigue was an issue for his second start of the postseason on short rest.
“I think the biggest thing for me is you want to be this herculean thing, go out and throw, be really good, and I just wasn’t,” he said.
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