Dodgers @ Braves August 18, 2019 – Gonsolin vs. Fried for the series

The Dodgers and Braves play in the rubber game game of a potential NLCS preview with Tony Gonsolin taking on Max Fried.

 
Dodgers
   
Braves
 
10:20 a.m.
   
Atlanta
CF
Pollock  
CF
Acuña
3B
Turner  
2B
Albies
C
Smith  
1B
Freeman
RF
Bellinger  
3B
Donaldson
1B
Gyorko  
C
McCann
SS
Seager  
LF
Joyce
LF
Garlick   SS Hechavarria
2B
Negron  
LF
Ortega
P
Gonsolin (R)  
P
Fried (L)

Last night’s game saw the Braves’ bullpen — subject of a few letdowns since the trade deadline — hold the Dodgers mostly in-check (aside from a Max Muncy homer). Mark Melancon went through Joc Pederson, Muncy, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger with relative ease (seriously, I thought Bellinger was going to get him).

Fried, one of the best Braves’ best starters, faced the Dodgers earlier this season and lasted just 1+ innings and allowed four runs. Odds are, that won’t happen again.

Gonsolin was recalled today and Josh Sborz went back to Oklahoma City. His last start in the majors was on Aug. 5 was a good one: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R , 0 BB, 7 K. Here’s hoping for more of that today.

The lineup looks a bit similar to Friday night’s, with one big difference: It’s the Dodger debut of Jedd Gyorko. Be honest, you forgot the Dodgers traded for him at the deadline, didn’t you? Edwin Rios was sent out to make room for him on the active roster.

Gyorko was injured when they Dodgers acquired him and he just finished his rehab assignment in Triple-A. He hit .273/.385/.455 with OKC. In 62 plate appearances with the Cardinals this season, he was hitting just .196/.274/.304. But he has a pretty decent track record in the majors. He has a 111 wRC+ over the last three seasons, but the Dodgers didn’t get him to play full-time. His real value to the Dodgers will be against left-handed pitching — at least until David Freese comes back. He has a career .271/.345/.464 batting line with a 122 wRC+ against southpaws. Not only that, he offers a little defensive versatility. Basically, he’s a right-handed version of Muncy, but not as good.

——

I think it’s pretty safe to say they’re going to best last season’s number. Dongs are good, actually.

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This is good! Gonsolin should be auditioning for a postseason role — either as a starter or reliever. Hopefully he sticks around for the rest of the season, because it’d be a little foolish to send him down for a week before rosters expand on Sept. 1.

I’m still hoping Dustin May ends up in the playoff starting rotation. He’s done well there in his brief time. But for now, this could be a way to limit his workload in hopes of having him in the rotation come October (maybe teaming with Rich Hill?).

——

Maybe not, if this is the case. Julio Urias‘ talented is unquestioned. But after his arrest and yesterday’s suspension, it’s hard to root for him. There were a couple of good threads I retweeted from folks on Twitter last night that summed up things nicely, if you want to go back and check those out.

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Here’s hoping Kristopher Negron and Kyle Garlick enjoyed their stays in Los Angeles. They’ll almost assuredly be heading back to OKC on Tuesday.

Ross Stripling hasn’t pitched since July 24 because of a sore neck. When he comes back, he should be a nice boost to the bullpen.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.