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Dodgers Dugout: Walker Buehler was a man on a mission

Walker Buehler struck out 10 Rays in six innings during Game 3 of the World Series. (Robert Gauthier/ Los Angeles Times)
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and that was as stress free a Dodger game as I can remember this postseason.

Some random thoughts on Game 3:

—I won’t talk about the lucky shirt since a few of you are tired of hearing about it. Also, because I switched to lucky Captain America socks.

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—You rarely see a game end in the first inning, but after Justin Turner homered, and then Walker Buehler came out throwing 98-mph darts, the game seemed over.

—The Rays body language just sagged after that first inning and never recovered.

—All game, Buehler was basically saying “Here, try to hit this.” Swing and a miss. “Here, try to hit this.” Swing and a miss. He wasn’t nibbling, he wasn’t wasting pitches, he was just challenging everyone.

—Here’s Buehler in his postseason career:

Wild-Card round: 4 IP, 3 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts, 4.50 ERA

NLDS: 21.2 IP, 9 hits, 13 walks, 30 strikeouts, 2.91 ERA

NLCS: 22.2 IP, 22 hits, 6 walks, 28 strikeouts, 2.38 ERA

World Series: 13 IP, 5 hits, 6 walks, 23 strikeouts, 0.00 ERA

That’s pretty impressive.

—The only Dodger who had a tough night was Chris Taylor, who went 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts.

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—Not trying to take anything away from Justin Turner at all, as he has been really good in the postseason for the Dodgers. But the TV crew got a little carried away with him tying the Dodger record for most postseason homers. Let’s take a look at the leaders and the number of games they played:

Justin Turner, 11 homers, 69 games
Duke Snider, 11 homers, 36 games
Corey Seager, 10 homers, 46 games
Steve Garvey, 10 homers, 45 games
Joc Pederson, 8 homers, 61 games
Kiké Hernández, 8 homers, 55 games
Cody Bellinger, 8 homers, 51 games
Max Muncy, 8 homers, 36 games

Snider still has Turner beat.

—I can’t remember if I wrote this or not in a newsletter, but at one point early this season, I was convinced the Dodgers should give up on Austin Barnes. I was wrong. It would be nice to see him start at catcher the rest of the series, with Will Smith at DH.

—Who says the Dodgers don’t play small ball? That safety squeeze was perfectly done by Barnes.

—All season long I received emails almost daily as to why the Dodgers continue to bat Max Muncy in the cleanup spot. This postseason is showing why. He is hitting .245/.448/.449, with four doubles, two homers, 18 walks and 12 RBIs. Don’t get hung up focusing on only batting average. It’s just one (important) part of the overall picture.

—Well for once you can’t accuse Joe Buck and John Smoltz of being biased. They basically anointed Buehler as the second coming throughout the game.

—Though I could have done without them talking about the Astros winning the 2017 without putting it in its proper context.

—The Dodgers are set up beautifully with Julio Urías and Clayton Kershaw solid starters the next two games, while the Rays will probably have a bullpen game in Game 4.

—However, despite how easy the two victories have seemed, the Rays didn’t get here by accident.

Dodgers World Series batting averages

Some of you hate when I start listing stats. You’ll want to skip the next two sections. Many have requested to see how the Dodgers are batting in the World Series, so here you are:

Max Muncy, .364, 4 for 11, 1 double, 4 RBIs
Mookie Betts, .333, 4 for 12, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 4 stolen bases
Corey Seager, .333, 3 for 9, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 runs scored
Justin Turner, .308, 4 for 13, 3 doubles, 1 HR, 1 RBIs, 3 runs scored
Chris Taylor, .274, 3 for 11, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 7 strikeouts
Kiké Hernández, .250, 1 for 4, 1 RBI
Cody Bellinger, .182, 2 for 11, 1 HR, 2 RBIs
Will Smith, .167, 2 for 12, 1 HR, 2 RBIs
Joc Pederson, .167, 1 for 6
Austin Barnes, .125, 1 for 8, 1 HR, 2 RBIs
AJ Pollock, .000, 0 for 2
Edwin Ríos, .000, 0 for 2

World Series records

By popular demand, some Dodgers World Series leaders, which will be updates throughout the World Series:

Batters

Games
Pee Wee Reese, 44
Carl Furillo, 40
Gil Hodges, 39
Jim Gilliam, 39
Jackie Robinson, 38
Tied for 17th: x-Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, Austin Barnes, 15

Runs
Jackie Robinson, 22
Duke Snider, 21
Pee Wee Reese, 20
Davey Lopes, 18
Gil Hodges, 15
Jim Gilliam, 15
Tied for 11th: x-Justin Turner, 9

Hits
Pee Wee Reese, 46
Duke Snider, 38
Gil Hodges, 35
Carl Furillo, 34
Jackie Robinson, 32
Steve Garvey, 32
Tied for 14th place: x-Justin Turner, 16

Doubles
Carl Furillo, 9
Duke Snider, 8
Jackie Robinson, 7
x-Justin Turner, 7
Jim Gilliam, 5
Roy Campanella, 5
Billy Cox, 5

Home runs
Duke Snider, 11
Gil Hodges, 5
Davey Lopes, 4
x-Joc Pederson, 4
Roy Campanella, 4
Steve Yeager, 4
Reggie Smith, 4

RBIs
Duke Snider, 26
Gil Hodges, 21
Pee Wee Reese, 16
Ron Cey, 13
Carl Furillo, 13
Tied for 14th: x-Cody Bellinger, 7

Walks
Jim Gilliam, 23
Jackie Robinson, 21
Pee Wee Reese, 18
Gil Hodges, 17
Duke Snider, 13
Carl Furillo, 13
Davey Lopes, 13
10th place: x-Chris Taylor, 9

Strikeouts
Duke Snider, 33
x-Cody Bellinger, 26
Gil Hodges, 22
Roy Campanella, 20
Steve Garvey, 19

Batting average (minimum 20 plate appearances)
Mickey Hatcher, .368
Tommy Davis, .348
Steve Garvey, .344
Pedro Guerrero, .333
Charlie Neal, .323
Billy Cox, .302
Ron Fairly, .300
Steve Yeager, .298
Ivy Olson, .293
Duke Snider, .286
Lou Johnson, .286
Steve Sax, .286
x-Max Muncy, .286

Pitchers

Wins
Sandy Koufax, 4
Johnny Podres, 4
Burt Hooton, 3
Don Drysdale, 3
Carl Erskine, Clem Labine, Hugh Casey, Don Sutton, x-Clayton Kershaw, Tony Watson, Preacher Roe, Larry Sherry, Orel Hershiser, 2

Innings
Sandy Koufax, 57
Carl Erskine, 41.2
Don Sutton, 41
Don Drysdale, 39.2
Johnny Podres, 38.2
x-Clayton Kershaw, 32.2

Strikeouts
Sandy Koufax, 61
Don Drysdale, 36
x-Clayton Kershaw, 35
Carl Erskine, 31
Don Sutton, 26

Saves
Clem Labine, 2
Larry Sherry, 2
x-Kenley Jansen, 2
Mike Marshall, Jeff Pfeffer, Bob Welch, Hugh Casey, Ron Perranoski, Steve Howe, Jay Howell, 1

ERA (minimum 18 innings)
Claude Osteen, 0.86
Sherry Smith, 0.89
Sandy Koufax, 0.95
Orel Hershiser, 1.00
Clem Labine, 1.65
Johnny Podres, 2.11
Whit Wyatt, 2.50
Preacher Roe, 2.54
Joe Black, 2.82
Don Drysdale, 2.95
16th: x-Clayton Kershaw, 4.68

x- highest active player

Dodgers-Rays schedule

All times Pacific

Dodgers are home team for Game 1, 2, 6 and 7

All games at Arlington, Texas

Game 1: Dodgers 8, Tampa Bay 3

Game 2: Tampa Bay 6, Dodgers 4

Game 3: Dodgers 6, Tampa Bay 2

Game 4: Today, Dodgers (Julio Urías**) vs. Tampa Bay, 5 p.m., Fox

Game 5: Sunday, Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw**) vs. Tampa Bay, 5 p.m., Fox

Game 6*: Tuesday, Tampa Bay vs. Dodgers, 5 p.m., Fox

Game 7*: Wed., Oct. 28, Tampa Bay vs. Dodgers, 5 p.m., Fox

*-if necessary
**-left-handed

In case you missed it

Bill Plaschke: Dodgers’ Game 2 loss looked eerily similar to past World Series failures

Dylan Hernández: Why are Dodgers in control of World Series? Star starters didn’t pitch Game 2

Rays relievers are all about prevention

Photos: Dodgers vs. Rays in Game 2 of the World Series

Young Dodger pitchers set up to fail in ‘out-getter’ role

Home away from home? Dodgers fans outnumber Rays fans at World Series

Dylan Floro goes from forgotten to integral Dodgers’ bullpen piece

And finally

Dodgers beat the Yankees in Game 4 of the 1981 World Series. Watch it here.

Until next time...

Have a comment or something you’d like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter? Email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.


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