The Dodgers crushed the Nationals on the mound and at the plate, extending the supremacy that led to a franchise-record 106 victories in the regular season right on into the playoffs.
Walker Buehler allowed one hit over six innings, Max Muncy drove in three runs and Los Angeles capitalized on mistakes to beat Washington 6-0 in Game 1 of their NL Division Series on Thursday night.
”Oh, they’re good. They’re really good,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. ”That’s why they have been in the postseason so many years in a row.”
Buehler struck out eight, walked three and retired his final seven batters after earning the start over veterans Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu, whose 2.32 ERA was lowest in the majors this season. ”Walker, time and time again, just knows how to temper, control his emotions and transfer that into the delivery, the execution of pitches,” expressed Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
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Washington’s Patrick Corbin stumbled through a rocky first inning.
He issued four walks, joining Art Reinhart of the St. Louis Cardinals as the only pitchers to walk that many in the first inning they ever pitched in the postseason.
Reinhart walked four – including Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig – in the fifth inning of Game 4 of the 1926 World Series against the Yankees.
”That first inning was the game,” Roberts said. ”That really set the tone.”
Corbin walked three in a row with two outs in the 31-pitch inning. Yan Gomes was charged with a passed ball, too, and Muncy drew a free pass with the bases loaded to put the Dodgers in front.
”Walked a lot of guys, chased a lot of bad pitches,” Martinez said. ”When you’re walking guys and not hitting, it’s tough to win ballgames.” Corbin gave up two runs – one earned – and three hits in six innings. The left-hander struck out nine and finished with five walks.
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