Walker Buehler turned in a gem during Monday’s NL West tiebreaker game against the Rockies, helping the Dodgers win the division title for the sixth consecutive season. The offense provided him with five runs of support while he held the Rockies’ offense scoreless.
Buehler, who was part of a combined no-hitter earlier this season, brought a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, but it was broken up when Charlie Blackmon singled to right field with one out. Buehler issued a two-out walk in the seventh and manager Dave Roberts decided to pull him there. Pedro Báez entered and issued a walk of his own before getting Matt Holliday to pop out to the shallow outfield to end the inning. Buehler’s final line: 6 2/3 innings, no runs, one hit, three walks, one hit batter, three strikeouts on 93 pitches.
Cody Bellinger broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning against Germán Márquez with a two-run homer to right-center. Max Muncy added another two-run shot in the fifth off of Márquez. Buehler brought in a run in support of himself in the sixth, singling in Enrique Hernández. Hernández had what is arguably the most adorable slide in baseball history.
Báez began the eighth, inducing a line out from Chris Iannetta. Lefty Scott Alexander entered, gave up a single to Blackmon, and promptly exited. Roberts brought in Kenta Maeda this time, who got DJ LeMahieu to ground out and then struck out David Dahl.
The ninth was Kenley Jansen‘s, or at least that was the plan. Nolan Arenado greeted him by ripping a first-pitch cutter into the bleachers in left field to put the Rockies on the board. Arenado ends the regular season leading the NL with 38 home runs and ties for second in RBI with 110. Trevor Story made it back-to-back homers, working a nine-pitch at-bat before depositing a ball beyond the fence in right-center to make it 5-2. Jansen bounced back, inducing a ground out from Carlos González, striking out Ian Desmond looking, and striking out Gerardo Parra swinging to end the game.
After Monday’s win, the Dodgers advance to play the Braves in the NLDS. The Rockies will travel to Chicago to play the Cubs in the NL Wild Card game. The winner of that moves on to face the NL Central champion Brewers in the NLDS.