Strasburg has given up one run in nine innings this October, with 14 strikeouts and no walks. Buehler has fired 13 shutout innings in his last two postseason starts, allowing only three hits. If he falters, Clayton Kershaw will be ready in relief.
“The thing that’s kind of lost in playoff baseball is that it’s really fun,” Buehler said. “The pressure and things like that, if you spin it in your head the right way, it can make it more fun.”
As fun as baseball can be, it has also been cruel to the Dodgers and the Nationals, consistent winners in the regular season who always fall short in October. The Dodgers have the most victories in the majors across the last eight seasons, with 757. The Nationals rank second, with 730. Yet neither franchise has captured a championship in that time.
The Dodgers have come close, at least, losing the 2017 World Series to Houston and last year to Boston. The Nationals, though, have never even survived the division series. This is their fifth visit to this round in eight seasons, and they are seeking their first appearance in N.L.C.S. since 1981, when they were the Montreal Expos.
In that series, the fifth and final game was tied in the ninth inning until the Expos surrendered a home run and lost. The hitter was Rick Monday — then the Dodgers’ right fielder, now their longtime radio broadcaster. He will call the action on KLAC-570 AM, with Charley Steiner, for another tense playoff finale.
[Read more of Tyler’s work here.]
And here’s what else we’re following
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The White House declared war on the House impeachment inquiry, announcing that it would not cooperate with what it called an illegitimate and partisan effort “to overturn the results of the 2016 election.” [The New York Times]
Here’s more about California’s fight with the president over the state’s vehicle emissions rules. [The New York Times]
California will become the first state in the nation to allow pharmacies to dispense H.I.V.-prevention drugs over the counter. [The New York Times]
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a sweeping rent cap bill that would limit how much landlords can raise rents beginning in January. [Pasadena Star-News]
The state introduced its first toll-free mental health line to assist those struggling with mental and emotional well-being. [KTLA]
A Santa Ana man was convicted of cyberstalking and threatening relatives of those killed in the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. [The New York Times]