After the Los Angeles Dodgers opened the 2020 World Series with a win, manager Dave Roberts announced Tony Gonsolin will start Game 2 against the Tampa Bay Rays. The outing will come on two days’ rest for the right-hander.
Gonsolin was among the five pitchers used by the Dodgers in winner-take-all Game 7 of the National League Championship Series. He followed Dustin May and was expected to provide some length but only logged two-plus innings.
Gonsolin threw 41 pitches in the relief appearance — his first of the postseason. “Rested, just feel he’s started and come out of the ‘pen, but we like him in this spot,” Roberts said of the club’s decision.
He added Dustin May and Julio Urias, who both also pitched on Sunday, are available out of the bullpen. “We’ll just kind of see how the game plays out,” Roberts said.
May only threw 18 pitches in his one inning of work and has regularly voiced confidence in having a resilient arm that allows him to pitch on minimal rest. And though Roberts said Urias could pitch in Game 2, he has been pushed in the past four days.
After throwing 101 pitches over five innings in Game 3 of the NLCS, Urias was asked to finish out Game 7. To his credit, the three innings came on an efficient 39 pitches — aided by the Atlanta Braves taking an aggressive approach.
The Dodgers presumably would prefer to only use one of May and Urias, if either at all. They went into the World Series with a taxed bullpen that was a byproduct of needing to climb out of a 3-1 deficit to the Braves.
Clayton Kershaw aided the bullpen’s cause by turning in six innings of one-run ball against the Rays. He was followed by Dylan Floro, Victor Gonzalez, Pedro Baez and Joe Kelly. Roberts had previously said any sort of length from Kershaw would help the Dodgers get back on line with bullpen usage.
Urias open to any role
The Dodgers’ cautious development of Urias over the past two years amounted to pitching both as a starter and reliever, which he’s accepted. As the team continues to value that flexibility, Urias reiterated his focus is solely on helping the Dodgers win a World Series.
“It’s up to them. It’s their plan. I’m sure they’re going to have a decision for me and I’m going to respect that decision,” Urias said. “Overall it’s just making yourself available as long as you’re healthy to go out there, give 100% of me and try to help my team win however is possible.”
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