Coming off a first career All-Star season, Tony Gonsolin looked to continue being a key member in the Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation in 2023, but his year was delayed due to a sprained left ankle suffered during Spring Training.
Gonsolin’s recovery was slower than anticipated and he began the season on the 15-day injured list. Because of additional injuries within the rotation, Gonsolin only made one rehab start prior to being activated on April 26.
Gonsolin has yet to replicate his success from last season, and that inconsistency surfaced against the Houston Astros on Sunday. He was given an early advantage thanks to Mookie Betts’ leadoff home run, but Gonsolin immediately surrendered it when Jeremy Peña answered back with a two-run homer in the top of the second inning.
The Astros increased their lead in the fourth with José Abreu hitting a two-run blast of his own.
Gonsolin yielded both home runs on a splitter that didn’t have much break and sat over the middle of the plate. The right-hander went into the start having allowed only four home runs on his splitter over the past three years combined.
“I didn’t think my stuff was very good,” Gonsolin said after the Dodgers’ loss in extra innings. “I hung two splitters, and they definitely didn’t miss those. But can’t walk the guy before Peña. Our team did great. We battled back and lost to a tough team. It happens.”
Gonsolin’s final line was five innings pitched, five hits, four runs, one walk and three strikeouts on 61 pitches. “I felt fine,” Gonsolin said when asked if the quick hook was because of an injury.
“I told Doc I was ready to go, but he thought it was time. I kind of agree. My stuff wasn’t very sharp. But I wanted to stay in.”
Gonsolin has struggled over his last two starts, giving up a combined 11 runs over 10.2 innings pitched. “Yeah, definitely,” he said when asked if the last two outings have been frustrating.
“I feel like I pride myself in getting outs when people are on base, and I haven’t been able to do that the last couple. I’ve got to figure it out before the next one.”
Gonsolin added he is focused on being more aggressive and getting ahead of the count. “I feel like I find myself trying to nibble too much and I stop attacking guys,” Gonsolin said.
“I fall behind in counts and then give them a good pitch to hit. Overall, just trying to execute better.”
Tony Gonsolin not feeling pressured
Gonsolin is one year removed from his first All-Star Game selection but does not feel pressured to pitch at that level given the state of the Dodgers starting rotation.
“I wouldn’t say I’m feeling extra pressure,” he explained. “I’m just frustrated with where I’ve been at the majority of this year, and I want to get back to that.”
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