2020 NLCS: Dodgers Name Dustin May Game 7 Starter

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

The Los Angeles Dodgers officially announced Tony Gonsolin as their starter against the Atlanta Braves in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series. It’s his second appearance against the Braves, who are going with Ian Anderson in the winner-take-all scenario.

Tony Gonsolin appeared to be the logical choice for the Dodgers as he was aligned to start on regular rest after filling in for Clayton Kershaw in Game 2. However, after his team staved off elimination for a second consecutive night, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said a decision had not been made.

“We’re still talking through it,” he said. “We’ve got some good names available, but as far as how we deploy these guys, we haven’t figured it out yet.”

When asked if Gonsolin would factor into the plans however they ultimately shook out, Roberts answered, “There’s a good chance Gonsolin will take down a good bit of it.”

May labored through two innings in Game 3 on Friday night, but to his credit only allowed two runs (one earned). He didn’t factor into the decision of what essentially was a must-win for the Dodgers.

Starting on short rest isn’t much of a concern for May, who previously said he’s been willing to pitch on back-to-back days if needed.

“It was always like that as a starter. I never really got super sore like other guys did, so I was always able to bounce back, come back and throw pretty hard Day 1,” May explained last week. “I was very blessed with recovery.”

May presumably will serve as an opener of sorts and be backed by the likes of Gonsolin, Julio Urias, Brusdar Graterol, Victor Gonzalez and Joe Kelly, among others.

Gonsolin’s start in Game 2 was his first outing in 17 days, and he believed the rust was a factor in being slow to make necessary adjustments once the Braves began to have success. Gonsolin got through three perfect innings before a leadoff walk in the fourth was followed by a Freddie Freeman home run.

Then a one-out walk in the fifth inning led to Cristian Pache’s RBI ground-rule double. Gonsolin walked Ronald Acuña Jr. and was removed. The Dodgers bullpen failed to strand inherited baserunners and Gonsolin was ultimately charged for five runs over 4.1 innings.

Kershaw in relief?

With his NLCS start delayed until Game 4 because of back spasms, Kershaw was in the bullpen for Game 6. He wasn’t among the three relief pitchers to follow Walker Buehler, but that possibility for Game 7 wasn’t yet ruled out.

“I’ll talk to him,” Roberts said Saturday. “Coming off the spasms and just kind of seeing where he’s at physically after a couple days rest, I’ll talk to him and make a decision.”

If Kershaw does not pitch and the Dodgers advance, he would be in line to start Game 1 of the World Series on regular rest Tuesday.

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