With multiple injuries currently plaguing the Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation, the club has relied on some of their younger pitchers for temporary reinforcements. The beneficiaries have been Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May — the organization’s two top pitching prospects.
Gonsolin, stepping in for the injured Hyun-Jin Ryu, made his first career start at Dodger Stadium against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday, tossing six shutout innings en route to his first Major League win.
Likewise, Dustin May has been inserted into the Dodgers starting rotation with Ross Stripling on the 10-day injured list. The right-hander was dominant in his second career MLB start on Wednesday, yielding just one run on five hits over 5.2 innings pitched.
The outing was an improvement over his first career start against the San Diego Padres last week. “Just pounding the zone early, getting quick outs, getting quicker innings and deeper into games, locating everything would be better,” May said.
“I settled down today and found the zone a little more. It worked out.”
The 21-year-old was noticeably more comfortable against the Cardinals, throwing 61 of his 83 pitches for strikes. “I definitely felt a little more comfortable,” May admitted.
“It was definitely more in my hand, I felt like today. I was controlling the zone, controlling the pace, I thought I threw the ball pretty well.”
May revealed his game plan against the Cardinals, which was attacking all quadrants of the strike zone as opposed to just one side. “Last outing I was more focused on down (in the zone),” he explained.
“We had talked about elevating the heater. I felt like showing up and down and I was in and out a little bit more today. I felt like execution of pitches was really good.”
Considering the success he enjoyed on Wednesday, May is already counting the days in which he will return to the mound for his third Major League start. “It’s awesome,” he said of the confidence the Dodges have in him.
“I can’t wait to go out there and get another one done. It’s super exciting to know they trust in me again to go out there and get the job done.”
May earned a tough-luck no-decision in his start against the Cardinals, but was nevertheless thrilled that the Dodgers were able to pull out their 10th walk-off victory of the season. “Oh my goodness,” May began.
“It’s unbelievable to be part of a club where you know you’re never out of it. It’s a wonderful feeling. It doesn’t matter what the score is, there’s always a chance for us to come back.”
Just two starts into his MLB career, May is already noticing the impact the veterans are having on the younger players inside the Dodgers clubhouse.
“It’s great to have the old guys in here giving us a lot of help throughout the game and helping us with just kind of growing up and showing us the way,” May explained. “It’s great to have a lot of veterans in here.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts offered high praise for May following his outing against the Cardinals and was especially pleased with how he executed his pitches. “Dustin, it was really exciting,” Roberts said.
“We talked about before the game what he needed to do as far as sequencing, pitching to different quadrants, strike throwing, and he checked all those boxes. He and Rick had a great game plan, Russell implemented it and Dustin executed. Really good to see that.
“There’s elevation, there’s keeping the left-hander honest inside, there’s pitching to the glove side, and all those quadrants.”