The Los Angeles Dodgers were on the brink of elimination after being shut out by the San Francisco Giants in Game 3 of the National League Division Series. Max Scherzer took his first loss in 13 starts with the club despite allowing only one run over seven strong innings.
Looking to avoid having their season come to an abrupt end, the Dodgers gave the ball to Walker Buehler on short rest in Game 4. Tony Gonsolin was once a probable starter and expected to pitch at some point Tuesday but never appeared.
The right-hander last pitched on Sept. 30 but recently faced batters in a simulated setting during an NLDS workout.
Gonsolin is no stranger to the postseason as he made four appearances last year, including two starts in the World Series. “Just attack guys,” Gonsolin said of what he learned from the experience.
“We’re all playing under the same pressure and just going out there and seize the moment.”
Gonsolin mostly struggled in his first taste of playoff baseball, going 0-2 and allowing nine runs on nine hits across 9.1 innings. He nevertheless was grateful for the chance to help the Dodgers end their championship drought.
“Just a good learning opportunity,” Gonsolin said of pitching in the 2020 postseason. “I didn’t throw very well last year, but in hindsight, there’s a lot to learn from it.”
As Gonsolin prepared for the possibility of piggybacking Buehler in a pivotal Game 4 against the Giants, he planned on keeping with his usual approach. “Try to go out there the same way,” Gonsolin answered when asked if he will pitch differently in a relief role.
“Still got to attack guys, still got to pitch guys similarly, still got to get ahead. It’s the same game whether it’s the first inning or the sixth.”
Gonsolin’s family rooting for Giants
Gonsolin grew up in Vacaville, California, and comes from a family of Giants fans, but his conversations with them over the past week have been positive. “It’s been pretty good,” he began.
“A couple of them have reached out to me and said, ‘Well, we want the Giants to win, but when you’re pitching we want you to win.’ So we just got to get out there so then they can start rooting for the Dodgers. It’s been fair, it’s been friendly, it’s been fun.”
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