Dodgers 8, D-backs 4: Clinching a playoff berth behind Tony Gonsolin’s 5 scoreless & a trio of dongs

The Dodgers are back to taking care of business, now winners of five games in a row after a 6-4 victory. Coming off sweeping the Padres, they’ve now won the first two of the series against the Diamondbacks.

Tony Gonsolin‘s return to form adds to their depth of quality arms and he was backed by an improving offense that homered three times and has scored 26 runs over their last four games, none falling below five runs.

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Gonsolin made his return on September 9, providing a solid three innings but not quite looking ready to start. He continued to be limited in terms of pitch count tonight, but he looked sharp in five shutout innings, pumping 94-95 mph consistently after being 92-94 mph for most of the year.

He retired the first six hitters he faced on the night before issuing a walk to lead-off the 3rd, and surrendered his first hit to lead-off the 4th, neither of which hurt him. He allowed both a walk and a single in the 5th, but wasn’t in much trouble as the walk was erased by a double play.

He also walked up to Lil Nas X‘s “Industry Baby“, which was a surprise.

Sure, it was the D-backs, but Gonsolin just looked better and more in control than he has all season: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K, 67 Pitches.

Thankfully he was provided with plenty of support thanks to both Luke Weaver‘s pitching and fielding. Things started quickly in the 1st with back-to-back doubles from Max Muncy and Trea Turner to make it 1-0.

After a quiet 2nd, the 3rd started with more fireworks behind a Mookie Betts lead-off single and a Muncy homer (his 33rd) destroyed to right. Notably he was using Albert Pujols‘ bat, which imbued him with a bit of magic.

That wasn’t it, as after a quick out it looked like Weaver got another, but an error by Ketel Marte led to Corey Seager reaching. Justin Turner followed with a single, and then Will Smith grounded back to Weaver … who proceeded to throw a potential double play ball into center to plate another run and making it 4-0.

Jake Faria took over in the 5th and gave up a solo homer to Trea, his 22nd, and while continuing in the 6th he gave up another solo shot to Smith (24th) that made it 6-1.

The reason that run was on the board for the D-backs was David Price relieved Gonsolin and gave up two singles to start the 6th, then later gave up a double to plate a run before escaping.

Same can’t be said for Justin Bruihl in the 7th, who gave up two singles and then an oppo three-run shot from Marte that cut the lead to 6-4.

At least the Dodgers got insurance against old friend Brett de Geus. He got the final out of the 6th, but the 7th started with back-to-back walks to Trea and Muncy. A single to right from Seager followed and loaded the bases, and then back-to-back sacrifice flies from JT and Will extended the lead to 8-4. Joe Mantiply and Tyler Clippard got the final four outs of the game for the D-backs, but the damage was done.

Despite that lead, Blake Treinen entered for the 8th and Kenley Jansen got the 9th, perhaps to keep them sharp but mainly cause they really can’t afford to lose another game and it was a clinching spot. Thankfully they both did their jobs and wrapped this one up without even a runner reaching.

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The win gets the Dodgers to 93-53 on the year, but as the Padres continue to fade, the Dodgers remain 2.5 games back of the Giants in the NL West.

The Dodgers go for the sweep tomorrow at 4:00 PM HT/7:00 PM PT/10:00 PM ET with MLB wins leader Julio Urias facing Merrill Kelly.

About Chad Moriyama

"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times