Dodgers News: Gavin Stone Made ‘A Couple’ Mistakes That D-Backs Took Advantage Of

Gavin Stone had been on a bit of a hot streak for the Los Angeles Dodgers in his last four starts, going at least six innings with a 1.38 ERA in those outings. But he came back down to Earth a bit during his start on Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Stone allowed four runs on eight hits during his six innings of work against the Diamondbacks, it was his worst start since he allowed five runs in three innings against the Chicago Cubs on April 7.

“I thought he did a good job of competing, keeping us in the ball game, getting through six innings,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I thought these guys had a pretty good game plan against them tonight. You could see some breaking balls going the other way.

“There was some soft contact in that second inning that they made good on. But I thought the double play was a big spot right there to keep the pitch count down and get him through six. And tonight there were a few guys down that we were going to stay away from. So to get him through six was huge.

Stone’s night started out well enough as he retired the first four batters of the game, but he soon ran into trouble in the second inning. The second inning is where the Diamondbacks did most of their damage and they feasted on Stone’s slider that inning as three of their four hits were on that pitch.

Four consecutive hits from the Diamondbacks scored their first two runs of the game, but Stone induced a double play to escape any further damage. He found himself in more trouble in the fifth inning but held the Diamondbacks to just one run.

Christian Walker charged Stone for one more run with his solo home run in the sixth before the right-hander’s outing was done.

“I feel like I threw a lot of good pitches today,” Stone said. “Just left a couple over the plate and they took advantage.”

The Diamondbacks had a good gameplay against Stone and were seeing the ball out of his hand well. The opponents did a good job of laying off Stone’s changeup and balls out of the zone in general — almost half of Stone’s 93 pitches were called balls.

Stone’s changeup has been by far his best pitch this season and the Diamondbacks’ ability to identify it was the key to their success. Stone threw 42% of his 26 changeups in the zone, and when it was in the zone the Diamondbacks swung at it 82% of the time and made contact 78% of the time.

When it was out of the zone, the rate at which they swung dropped all the way down to 33%. He also didn’t generate a lot of swings and misses with just a 21% whiff rate on his changeup, which is far below his season average of 38.8%.

Three of the Diamondbacks’ eight hits were on his changeup, including the solo homer.

“It didn’t really feel the best,” Stone said of his changeup. “I really did feel good with everything else though.”

Gavin Stone becoming dependable for the Dodgers

When taking into account his entire body of work this season, Stone has been working towards being someone that Roberts can depend on over the course of a long season.

Despite Tuesday’s outing, Stone has shown that he can be a reliable back-end starter the past handful of weeks and the Dodgers are now 6-3 when he takes the mound this season.

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