The Los Angeles Dodgers will face the Washington Nationals in the decisive fifth game of their National League Division Series Wednesday at Dodger Stadium.
Game 1 winner Walker Buehler will pitch for the Dodgers against Stephen Strasburg, the Game 2 winner.
“Those guys are premier pitchers in this league,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “We have just seen Strasburg recently and obviously he had his way with us so we’re going to have to make adjustments. I’m sure he’s going to either do what he’s been doing or make adjustments. As a fan, as a player, you live for moments like this.”
Buehler allowed one hit in six shutout innings in Game 1 in last Wednesday’s 6-0 victory.
“We’re excited,” Buehler said. “I think the thing that’s kind of lost in playoff baseball is that it’s really fun and I think the pressure and things like that, if you spin it in your head the right way it can make it more fun. So that’s our plan.”
This will be the second time Buehler will start a decisive postseason game. He allowed one run and six hits in 4 2/3 innings in the Dodgers 5-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 7 of last year’s National League Championship Series, and received a no decision because he did not pitch the required five innings.
Strasburg limited the Dodgers to one run and three hits in six innings in Washington’s 4-2 victory in Game 2 Friday, striking out 10 and not walking a batter.
Strasburg could become baseball’s career postseason ERA leader Wednesday evening. He enters the game with a 0.64 postseason ERA in 28 innings. Pitchers need to pitch at least 30 innings to qualify. Hall of Fame reliever Mariano Rivera is the career postseason ERA leader with a 0.70 ERA.
Roberts did not disclose his entire lineup, but did say rookie Will Smith would catch. He had the first hit against Strasburg Friday, a fifth-inning single, his only hit in nine at-bats in the series.
This will be the fifth time the decisive game of a postseason series will be played at Dodger Stadium. They have a 2-2 record, winning Game 5 of a division series against the Houston Astros in 1981 and Game 7 of the National League Championship Series against the New York Mets and losing Game 5 of a division series to the Mets in 2015 and Game 7 of the 2017 World Series to the Astros.
The Nationals have never won a postseason series, losing four division series, three in Game 5, including in 2016 to the Dodgers.
The series winner will face the winner of Wednesday’s fifth game of the division series between the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series, which will begin Friday. The Dodgers will host Game 1 of the championship series regardless of the opponent.
Auto gates will open at 3:10 p.m. and stadium gates at 3:40 p.m. Pregame activities will begin at 5:15 p.m. for the 5:37 p.m. game.
Fans are encouraged to arrive early, purchase parking in advance, carpool or take a ride-hailing service.
Postseason ticket information is available at Dodgers.com/Postseason.