LOS ANGELES -- A rookie in name only at this point, the Los Angeles Dodgers are merely looking at Walker Buehler now as simply a big-game pitcher.
It means the Dodgers have the right guy on the mound as they go for a three-game series sweep Wednesday over the Colorado Rockies.
When the first pitch in the series was thrown on Monday the Rockies led the division. The Dodgers are the club with a 1 1/2-game lead now thanks to Chris Taylor's walk-off home run Tuesday.
Buehler has given the Dodgers a legitimate 1-2 punch alongside staff ace Clayton Kershaw with a second half that has had a presence about it.
The Rockies will counter with a shaky Tyler Anderson as the left-hander continues to search for his first victory since July 4. He is 0-6 over his last 12 starts with a 6.38 ERA.
Buehler (7-5, 2.88 ERA) gave up four runs in a Sept. 8 start at Colorado, but that is where runs come easier than most parks. It is the only time over his last nine starts he has given up more than two earned runs. He has a 1.75 ERA going back to a July 31 outing when he gave up just one run to the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Kershaw-Buehler duo is starting to bear a strong resemblance to the Kershaw-Zack Greinke duo that led the charge for Dodgers teams of the recent past.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was asked if the season from his 24-year-old right-hander has exceeded his expectations.
"He has exceeded them in my eyes, but probably not in how own which is a good thing," Roberts said. "I expect him to help us win a championship so that is what he has done. If you look at the stat line, it's pretty impressive. You hope for that (and) we're all impressed."
Anderson (6-9, 4.82) is not exactly creating the same type of buzz, although he has been better of late. He gave up two runs over seven innings at San Francisco in his last outing, but the Rockies lost a 2-0 decision.
Since he last won a game, Anderson has given up six runs once, seven runs once and nine runs once. But he has also given up just one run in three starts since July 4, but the Rockies could not finish off a victory.
One of those one-run outings came Aug. 9 at Dodger Stadium, but the Dodgers rallied against the Colorado bullpen for an 8-5 victory.
"Part of the strength of Tyler is his mentality and his aptitude, body awareness and all those things," Rockies manager Bud Black said, according to mlb.com. "Going into the game (against the Giants) he was in a pretty good spot as far as his delivery, based on what I saw the last four or five days in between his starts.
He will have a chance to repeat that against the Dodgers, who he is 3-4 against in 11 career starts with a 4.10 ERA.
If there is one team Buehler knows well since making his major league debut last September, it is the Rockies. He has eight appearances and four starts against Colorado, going 0-1 against the Rockies with a 4.45 ERA. Buehler made his major league debut against the Rockies on Sept. 7 last season.