Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers suffered a series sweep against their rival San Francisco Giants behind a mixed start turned in from Tony Gonsolin.
The right-hander was perfect through his first three innings while adding five strikeouts. However, things started to unravel in the fourth when he allowed two runs following a leadoff walk and hit by pitch.
“My execution just really suffered after that third inning,” Gonsolin said. “Balls were left up in the zone, they got some soft hits that kind of just fell down and then some hard hits that also fell. But overall, the execution really just wasn’t there.”
Gonsolin went on to complete 5.2 innings, but he gave up a career-high seven earned runs in the process. He only recorded two more strikeouts after the third inning, and gave up six hits and three walks.
When Gonsolin was asked what changed for him following the first three innings, he said he doesn’t know, but guessed it was a result from trying to be too perfect on each pitch.
“Maybe just trying to be too fine or kind of nibbling a little bit, but overall, just can’t happen,” he said.
Gonsolin added that trying to be too fine is something he’s dealt with throughout his career, which has caused him to pitch poorly at times. Gonsolin said the issue comes from trying to force pitches rather than just letting his defense make plays behind him.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts viewed the difference in between Gonsolin’s early success and his final 2.2 innings as a being due to a change in control of pitches.
“I thought early on, majority of the game, command was good,” Roberts said. “And then I think, I don’t know if they were sitting on the split, but certainly the command of the split wasn’t there, it was all elevated up in the zone, which didn’t create any swing and miss or soft contact.
“There were some flairs out there, but because it was elevated, allowed for some base hits.
“And they did a good job of spoiling pitches when he did make some good pitches with the slider. And we just couldn’t close out innings. And they did good situationally today, and we didn’t. And so you can poke holes in what Tony did or didn’t do, but I think today, across the board, we just did some things that come back to haunt us.”
In his past outings, Gonsolin had issues recovering between his starts, which prompted the team to push him back to give him extra rest previously. But Gonsolin doesn’t thing that was an issue on Sunday.
“Nah, I thought it was OK today,” Gonsolin said. “I thought the energy was fine, I thought my body felt good and overall just like I said, the execution wasn’t there.”
Dave Roberts reiterates Tony Gonsolin is not injured
Roberts did see Gonsolin starting to fatigue, and the dip in his stuff backed up that belief.
“You know what’s interesting is with him, the last handful of starts, as he’s gone deeper into the game, the velocity, the stuff, has ticked up. But it’s come to the point where he’s run out of pitches,” Roberts noted.
“But today was probably the first day that I saw that as he got up a little bit in the pitch count, the stuff wasn’t as sharp. And I say stuff, it was the secondary stuff. The slider didn’t have as much teeth as it did earlier and the split was not where typically later it is later games. That hasn’t been the case.”
However, Roberts still said there’s still nothing physically wrong with Gonsolin and they trust him to continue pitching in the rotation moving forward.
“I haven’t heard otherwise,” Roberts said. “So even after today’s start, Tony felt really good about how his body felt. And he’ll get a week, six days to recover. And so he should be set to make that next one too.”
Make sure to follow Dodger Blue on Instagram! It’s the best way to see exclusive coverage from games and events, get your questions answered, and more!