Dodgers starting Walker Buehler vs. Brewers' Jhoulys Chacin in Game 7

ByAlden Gonzalez ESPN logo
Saturday, October 20, 2018

MILWAUKEE -- Walker Buehler, who pitched his team to a division title in a one-game tiebreaker at the start of October, will start Game 7 of the National League Championship Series for the Los Angeles Dodgers, opposing Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Jhoulys Chacin.

Saturday's first pitch is scheduled for 8:09 p.m. ET from Miller Park.

"Game 7, to go to a World Series -- I don't know if it gets more high stakes than that," Buehler said. "It's hard to put into words what could happen and what we hope happens."

Buehler finished the regular season on a fabulous run, with a 1.55 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 75 1/3 innings (including Game 163 against the Colorado Rockies). But the 24-year-old right-hander has lost both of his postseason starts, working around a second-inning grand slam against the Atlanta Braves in the NL Division Series and giving up four runs through seven innings in Game 3 of the NLCS.

Throughout the year, however, Buehler impressed his teammates with his arsenal of pitches -- a dynamic, high-90s fastball to go along with an effective curveball, slider and power changeup -- and his unwavering confidence.

"I love his mentality on the mound; he wants to be out there," Dodgers utility man Chris Taylor said. "He'll be ready tomorrow. I expect him to have a great game for us."

Buehler was up next in the rotation after Hyun-Jin Ryu, who allowed five runs in the first two innings of a 7-2 loss in Friday's Game 6.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said "everyone will be available" in Game 7 aside from Ryu. His closer, Kenley Jansen, will be coming off a couple of days of rest and could be available for more than three outs. But so can Brewers lefty Josh Hader, who warmed up late in Game 6 but never entered.

Asked how many innings Hader can contribute in Game 7, Brewers manager Craig Counsell joked: "Twelve."