Rockies 6, Dodgers 3: Offense goes quiet while Gonsolin impresses again

The Dodgers fell short of their first four-game sweep of the season as they lost 6-3 on Sunday afternoon in Colorado.

Despite another impressive start by Tony Gonsolin, the Dodgers offense struggled to produce much with Mookie Betts and Chris Taylor (sort of) taking days off. The top four spots in the order finished 2-for-15 with four walks, aided by AJ Pollock‘s late two-run single, so that really explains most of it.

The Padres are leading the Mariners as of writing this, so the Dodgers’ magic number for the NL West and the NL remains at 2.

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After I wrote Gonsolin hadn’t really struck out that many batters this season in today’s game thread, he proceeded to strike out the side in both the 1st and 2nd innings. An example of just how small these samples still are, his K/9 moved from 7.6 up to 8.6 by just adding those two innings alone.

As you can see above, all six of those strikeouts were swinging and that continued on for the next three innings. Two came on sliders down and in to left-handed batters after Gonsolin entered with just 15 sliders thrown to lefties prior to today.

I’ll have to check the new totals once they are updated tomorrow, but Gonsolin had entered the day with 3 Ks in 5 PAs against lefties with the slider.

Otherwise, Gonsolin really mixed it up in these first two innings. There’s another strikeout with the slider to Kevin Pillar, a pair of fastballs to Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story, and a curve down and away to Josh Fuentes.

After his seventh strikeout to end the 3rd inning, Gonsolin ran into some trouble in the 4th thanks to a pair of singles to open the inning. Loading the bases with his first walk of the afternoon, Gonsolin allowed the first two runs off of a fastball to Fuentes.

He worked out of the trouble with another pair of swinging strikeouts, on a fastball to David Dahl and getting Elias Diaz to chase a slider breaking down and away.

Gonsolin had struck out 8 against the Padres and Rockies earlier this season, but he reached his new career high in just four innings. Finishing his day after 5 IP, Gonsolin hit his 10th strikeout with yet another slider in his final inning.

That’s 19 swing and misses on his 82 pitches for the 10 strikeouts that all came on swings. While the ERA rose just slightly to 1.77, his K/9 jumped from 7.6 to 8.9 and his K% from 22.6% to 26.3%.

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Other than Gonsolin’s impressive start, there’s not much to take away from the game.

Zach McKinstry did come up with his first career hit, a double off of Antonio Senzatela in the third inning. The dugout was pretty entertained as McKinstry slipped as he rounded second before diving back to the base.

That was one of just three hits through the first six innings of the game, joined by a Cody Bellinger double that ended with him thrown out trying to extend it to a triple and a single by Gavin Lux.

Hitting 100 pitches in the 7th, Senzatela seemed to lose control and walked Max Muncy and Bellinger to give the Dodgers a pair of base runners on for the first time all game.

Unfortunately a lineout by Will Smith slowed the rally, with a two-out single by Edwin Rios scoring the only run of the inning.

A walk, single and another walk with two outs in the 8th brought Bellinger to the plate as the tying run, but Daniel Bard entered to end the threat with a strikeout. The Dodgers again put runners on second and third with two away in the 9th, cutting down the lead off of Pollock’s two-run single.

However another at-bat with the tying run at the plate failed to produce anything as Taylor grounded out to end the game.

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Entering in relief of Gonsolin, Blake Treinen produced a rather terrible outing for those wishing he’d take over as the team’s closer. Allowing three straight singles on relatively soft contact, Treinen left with one in and two on in the 6th.

Victor Gonzalez continued the Kenley-lite inning with two more singles bringing in another pair of runs to put the Dodgers down 5-0.

Pedro Baez pitched a clean 7th inning on just 8 pitches before Alex Wood allowed one final run thanks to another pair of singles.

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The Dodgers start a three-game series against the A’s on Tuesday after taking Monday off to return to Los Angeles.

About Cody Bashore

Cody Bashore
Cody Bashore is a lifelong Dodger fan originally from Carpinteria, California (about 80 miles north of Dodger Stadium along the coast). He left California to attend Northern Arizona University in 2011, and has lived in Arizona full-time since he graduated in 2014 with a journalism degree. He now works for the university’s athletics department after spending seven years with the local newspaper.