The 2020 World Series is now even at a game apiece after the Tampa Bay Rays earned a 6-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 on Wednesday night.
What was a planned bullpen game for the Dodgers became all the more challenging as starter Tony Gonsolin only lasted 1.1 innings. He gave up a solo home run to Brandon Lowe in the first inning and then walked Manuel Margot to begin the second, allowing him to get to third on a stolen base and deep fly ball to center before giving way to Dylan Floro, who was able to escape the jam.
Gonsolin only threw 29 pitches on the night and he was unhappy with how his first World Series outing went.
“I wasn’t really great,” he said. “Execution could’ve been a lot better. I fell behind to Lowe and he hit a good pitch, I thought. Overall, I wasn’t that great.”
As has been the case in almost all of his outings this postseason, command was an issue for Gonsolin. He singled out his slider as the one pitch that wasn’t working for him.
“I think I can do a better job of commanding that. I wasn’t very sharp in the beginning,” Gonsolin noted. “I thought the splitter was OK, definitely the best pitch. I thought the fastball was alright; I can execute a little better.”
Gonsolin was told on Tuesday night he was going to start Game 2, his second this postseason. He has also appeared out of the bullpen, which is a bit of an unfamiliar role, although Gonsolin is not using that as an excuse for poor performance.
“I want the ball. I want to go out there and give our team a chance to win every time I pitch. It’s been a lot of fun, it’s been a learning experience for me with starting and throwing within three days,” he said. “I’m just trying to take it as a learning experience and grow from it.”
Not knowing when you’re going to be on the mound can be challenging for a young pitcher to stay sharp though, even for someone as prepared as Gonsolin.
“I did my scouting and all that stuff,” he said. “I work on my sharpness day to day and whenever I get the ball try to do as best I can.”
Gonsolin using first World Series start as learning experience
Gonsolin is just one of many promising pitchers in the Dodgers organization and although he hasn’t had the success he would like this postseason, his future remains very bright.
“I think I can definitely take trying to maintain my sharpness in between outings,” Gonsolin said. “Not trying to have all my stuff show up on Day 5 or whenever my start day is. Being able to day to day work on that and hone the execution so it can be available when I need it.”
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