Dodgers News: Tony Gonsolin Learning From Clayton Kershaw

Tony Gonsolin turned in one of his best starts of the season as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-4, with another comeback victory.

For just the second time this year, Gonsolin pitched six innings, and he was effective throughout the night, allowing just two runs on three hits while striking out seven and walking two.

Gonsolin has averaged 4.2 innings per start this season, so pitching deeper into games has been a focus for him. He was able to find success by looking to get outs quickly into an at-bat rather than always looking for a strikeout, and he relied on some help from future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw to find a way to achieve his goal.

“I’ve just been trying to get some early contact,” Gonsolin said. “Talked with Kersh a lot about how to go deeper into games, what works and what doesn’t work, and trying to figure out a way that works for me.”

Gonsolin was able to get outs more quickly by attacking the zone and being more aggressive with his pitches, specifically with the breaking ball. By the end of his night, the 27-year-old had thrown 92 pitches with 67 of them going for strikes, a 73% rate. In his previous outing he was at 58%.

“Mainly just being able to throw offspeed stuff for strikes and throwing a lot of strikes,” Gonsolin said of takeaways from conversations with Kershaw. “Not throwing non-competitive pitches, figuring out what pitch works for me to get weak contact early in counts.”

Gonsolin’s outing also helped take some pressure off the bullpen that has been overworked in the recent weeks with another doubleheader scheduled for Tuesday.

Roberts praises Gonsolin

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts appreciated the performance turned in by his starter, saying Gonsolin’s start was one of the best ones he’s had this year and credited him for managing tough innings and limiting damage.

“I just thought he was in complete control of his entire mix, and I think that was the first time I’ve seen it,” Roberts said. “Him to give us six innings, and be efficient at it, was really impressive.

“And I think this is something that for his maturation as a big-league ballplayer, this was a defining moment. This was a big one, we needed it and he came through big.”

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