LOS ANGELES -- Walker Buehler etched his name in the record books with one of the most impressive performances in franchise history Friday night in Game 3 of the World Series. His first pitch was clocked at 97.9 mph. Seven innings later, Buehler's 108th and final pitch hit 98.2 mph.
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In between, Buehler dominated the Red Sox, and in the early hours of Saturday morning, his teammates finally put Boston away with a 3-2 victory in 18 innings to cut the Sox's series lead to two games to one.
"There have been a few games when I had similar feelings, but obviously, this one tops the list," Buehler said.
Buehler's 26 pitches in the first were the most thrown in a 1-2-3 inning in postseason history. He also became the youngest Dodgers pitcher to throw six or more scoreless innings in a World Series game since Johnny Podres did it in 1955.
In addition, Buehler joins Roger Clemens (Game 2, 2000) and Don Larsen (Game 5, 1956) as the only pitchers to throw seven or more scoreless innings while allowing two hits or fewer without any walks in a World Series game.
"I just got into some good counts and made pitches when I needed to," Buehler said. "It's how we have been all year. Obviously, being down 2-0, and people [were] saying our backs are against the wall, but we've been here and done that before."
Overall, the hard-throwing rookie allowed only two hits and struck out seven in seven scoreless innings, reaching a career-high pitch count. Buehler was replaced by Kenley Jansen in the eighth with his team up, 1-0.
Buehler, who also threw 100 pitches against the Brewers in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series, joins Justin Verlander, who fired 102 pitches in Game 1 of the American League Division Series, and Hyun-Jin Ryu, who tossed 104 pitches in Game 1 of the NLDS, on the short list of starters to throw 100 pitches or more during this postseason.
"We needed his best effort, and we needed him to go deeper than their starter, log some innings," manager Dave Roberts said. "And some guys run from it. Some guys can't answer the bell. But this guy, he's got an overt confidence, a quiet confidence, a little combo. He's got tremendous stuff, and he lives for moments like this."
After the busy first inning, Buehler threw 13 pitches in the second, 16 in the third, 12 in the fourth and 11 in the fifth. He cruised through the sixth and seventh, retiring the final 14 batters he faced.
As expected, the young right-hander relied heavily on his fastball. Buehler's 39 four-seam fastballs averaged 97.9 mph and topped out at 100.1. His two-seam fastball averaged 97.2 and maxed out at 100 mph. Buehler also mixed in his changeup and slider.
It was unclear how Buehler was going to match up against Boston, but he rose to the occasion with his team trailing in the Series two games to none. The Red Sox entered the game as MLB's best hitting team against fastballs this year.
"It was fun to play behind him," Joc Pederson said. "He pounded the zone and kept us off our feet as long as he could. Our bullpen came in huge today, and it was a huge win."