In a little more than two hours, Dustin May would step onto the mound and attempt to save the Los Angeles Dodgers' season. Dave Roberts, the Dodgers' manager, stepped to a microphone and expressed his faith in his young pitcher.
May is 21. He had never started a postseason game, except for a one-inning stint as an opener. On Friday, as the Dodgers faced elimination, the team figured it would need him to go deep into the game.
"This," Roberts said, "could be his Walker Buehler moment."
Spoiler alert: It was not.
Spoiler alert: It did not matter.
The Dodgers shrugged off the conventional wisdom, at least for a night, and extended their 2020 season in their own way.
May covered the first two innings, and not well. The beleaguered bullpen covered seven innings, and very well. The Dodgers spotted the Atlanta Braves two runs and then roared back, with a 7-3 victory in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.
The Dodgers lived to play another day. If they win on Saturday, they will play Sunday for a spot in the World Series.
Buehler starts for the Dodgers on Saturday. For the Dodgers, it would be a perfect day for him to have another Walker Buehler moment.
It was Buehler, not Clayton Kershaw, who started Game 1 of the Dodgers' only postseason series last season. He threw six scoreless innings against the eventual World Series champion Washington Nationals.