Dodgers News: Tony Gonsolin Feels Improvement With Consistency From 2019

With so many injuries early in the season and David Price opting out, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting pitching depth has been put to the test throughout the shortened 2020 season.

As only a week remains before the start of the playoffs, the team’s young starters have been up to the challenge, especially Tony Gonsolin. He turned in another solid outing on Sunday against the Colorado Rockies.

Gonsolin took the loss, although he set a career high with 10 strikeouts while tossing five innings of two-run ball. He is sporting an impressive 1.77 ERA in eight games (seven starts) this season as one of the unsung heroes of the Dodgers’ rotation.

This is his second season with the Dodgers, and although he was also impressive in 2019, he has taken it to another level this season.

“I think I made a big improvement on last year. Mechanically, I wasn’t in a great spot last year because of a couple injuries,” Gonsolin explained.

“In Spring Training we worked on it a lot to get back to where I was in 2018. I think we’re a lot closer to that now. Overall, just trying to be as consistent as possible and feeling more comfortable up here.”

Gonsolin didn’t make the Opening Day roster after showing up late to Summer Camp due to what he called a false positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test. He filled in admirably for injured starters until earning a full-time spot in the rotation.

Despite the late start, he feels he is pitching how he is capable of. “I just try to go out there and do the best that I can do with every opportunity I get. I’ve been saying that from the beginning, and I truly believe that,” he said.

Gonsolin added that with the addition of another breaking ball, this is essentially the best he has felt about his pitch mix.

“Pretty close. In 2018 was probably the best I felt with everything the whole year. I felt like I could do anything in any moment. We’re getting back to that, for sure,” Gonsolin said.

This year has been a season of firsts for Gonsolin, with Sunday being his first 10-strikeout game. He struck out six straight to begin the game, looking as untouchable as ever.

“I felt good early,” the right-hander admitted. “I was spotting my heater really well the first few innings, had the slider going, mixed in some curveballs, mixed in some splitters, executed pitches when I needed to.”

While Gonsolin can identify where he’s improved, the focus remains on continuing to pitch at a high level. “I just want to stay as consistent as possible,” he said.

“To kind of see how I bounced back this outing after going as long as I’ve ever gone in my last outing, my body felt pretty good. I thought I was aggressive. I was attacking guys, just didn’t execute when I needed to.”

Kershaw gave Gonsolin advice on pitching at Coors Field

It’s no secret Coors Field is a tough place to pitch, but Clayton Kershaw made it look easy on Saturday night when he tossed seven innings, allowing just one run. He also helped the Dodgers in other ways.

“I asked Kersh a little bit two days ago. Basically just said aim lower, trust your stuff,” Gonsolin said. “If you still throw a good pitch, it’s going to be good here as it would in Dodger Stadium or wherever.

“So that’s kind of what the mindset was. If I just throw pitches like I’m supposed to throw them, they’ll still be good.”

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