Sixth straight NL West title? This time, the Dodgers decided to up their degree of difficulty, and still got the job done.
To be fair, they did it with a significant lack of sweat in the season's final, and extra, game. That's what happens when you have seven 20-homer players on an entirely stacked roster.
What looked like a pitcher's duel for the first half of the battle became the Walker Buehler Show by the time things had wrapped; the rookie hurler nearly went seven shut-out, carrying a no-hitter past the fifth. German Marquez was brilliant. Buehler was far better. And when he needed a fifth run, he called his own number.
*extremely Cameron voice*— Cut4 (@Cut4) October 1, 2018
Walker Buehler you're my hero. pic.twitter.com/mxqqH3TOuY
Of course, the first four came on two separate two-run strikes off Marquez, Colorado's emergent rookie pitcher looking to parlay his September "Pitcher of the Month" win into the new month's first day. He struck out the side in the fourth, but a Tony Wolters passed ball let one of the whiffers reach base.
Cody Bellinger made him pay, wrecking a two-out skyscraper.
When Max Muncy smacked one in the next inning, the Rockies' challenge against Buehler went from "difficult" to "insurmountable."
It did get stunningly spooky in the ninth, with Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story taking a just-getting-work Kenley Jansen deep, but that was all she wrote. 5-2 final.
Shutout gone, thanks to Nolan. Might that be a spark? 🤨 pic.twitter.com/PNN0sSyzda— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) October 1, 2018
The Rockies rested the bullpen in this one, outside of getting Scott Oberg some necessary work, and it'll be all systems go on the road for them Tuesday against Jon Lester at Wrigley. No pressure there.
All Los Angeles has to do now is party and wait for the high-flying Atlanta Braves, hoping they've been flying too close to the sun all along.