The Los Angeles Dodgers regained control of the World Series with a win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday night, giving them an opportunity to close it out in Game 6. They are looking to do so behind Tony Gonsolin, who also started Game 2 at Globe Life Field.
It was a planned opener situation, but Gonsolin fell short of even those expectations as he only managed to record four outs. He had previously pitched in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series so was only on two days of rest.
That won’t be the case this time around as Gonsolin is on full rest — technically an extra day. “They told me after the Game 2 opener-thing that I was going to start Game 6, so I’ve known for a little bit and had a lot of time to prepare,” Gonsolin said.
“It feels like I’m back on a normal routine like I had all season,” Gonsolin said.
Dave Roberts revealed Gonsolin will be making a traditional start in Game 6, and he is hopeful to get five innings out of the right-hander. “I think it provides a little more comfort for me,” Gonsolin said of knowing he’s taking the hill for a regular outing.
“I’m going to go out there and throw the ball as long as I can and as best as I can until Doc decides that I’m done.”
Gonsolin and Roberts had a talk ahead of the biggest start of the 26-year-old’s career, and a clear message came from it. “Just to attack guys,” Gonsolin said of the conversation. “Go out there with the intent from pitch one to compete for as long as I go.”
It’s no secret how big this game is for Gonsolin and the Dodgers as they have a chance to win their first World Series since 1988. The rookie nonetheless is doing his best to treat it like a normal start.
“I try not to put more pressure on myself than there already is. I try to go out there and throw the ball to the best of my ability. Nothing changes,” Gonsolin said.
Gonsolin reflects on rough outing
Part of Gonsolin’s postseason struggles so far can be attributed to his change of role. Knowing after Game 2 that he would be starting in Game 6 allowed him to go through his normal starter’s routine, which he is familiar with from the regular season when he had so much success.
“Between Game 7 of last series and Game 2 (of the World Series), didn’t really have time to get a lift in, so I took my lift on the opener day,” he noted.
“After the game they told me, so it was like, now my routine changed a little bit with the extra day but it worked out nicely. Took the next day off, then got my two lifts in, my bullpen on Game 4 and ready to go.”
Gonsolin is not using the lack of a routine as an excuse, however.
“I’ve always just tried to be prepared for whenever I get the ball. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a six-day rotation or whatever. It’s just finding that routine in between outings,” he said.
The Dodgers will have a rested bullpen in Game 6, so if Gonsolin can give them a handful of quality innings or so, he will have done his job to bring the trophy back to L.A.
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