The Dodgers rode a pair of big innings to a successful home opener last night. After putting up three runs in the first, Reiver Sanmartin completely silenced the Dodger bats for five innings to allow the Reds to tie the game. The non-Sanmartin relievers had a tougher time, as the Dodgers exploded for six in the bottom of the eighth to wrap up a 9-3 win and improve to 4-2. Tonight, the Dodgers look for their fourth-straight win as they honor Jackie Robinson.
|7:10 PM||Los Angeles|
|RF||Naquin (L)||1B||Freeman (L)|
|1B||Votto (L)||DH||Muncy (L)|
|3B||Moustakas (L)||CF||Bellinger (L)|
Tony Gonsolin gets the ball for the Dodgers. He struggled with his efficiency in his first start, as he needed 62 pitches to complete three innings. Despite the traffic, Gonsolin only allowed one run in his short outing. In 2021, Gonsolin only completed five innings in four of his 15 outings. He was dealing with some injuries and never fully got stretched out (maxed out at 83 pitches in a start, bounced between starter and reliever), but he figures to be a much more important piece to the rotation in 2022.
Vladimir Gutierrez starts for Cincinnati tonight. Gutierrez received one Rookie of the Year vote last year after posting a 4.74 ERA/5.22 FIP in 120 innings over 22 starts. He finished 2020 as the Reds’ 16th-ranked prospect on MLB Pipeline and had an up-and-down 2021 season. Gutierrez had a six-start stretch in July-August where he looked dominant, posting a 1.86 ERA and .631 OPS against. In the six starts after that, Gutierrez posted a 9.43 ERA and opponents OPS’d 1.037 (Bryce Harper led qualified hitters in 2021 with a 1.044 OPS, only one other hitter was over 1.000). Gutierrez made his first start of the season in Atlanta and allowed two runs in 4 1/3 innings.
Gutierrez has a classic four-pitch mix. In 2021, he threw a fastball 47.2 percent of the time and averaged 93.2 MPH with it. He also threw a slider, curveball and changeup. He threw each of those pitches in his start in Atlanta, and his velo was down almost across the board from last season.
Much like in Gonsolin’s first start, expect Tyler Anderson to get in the game.
Anderson allowed a run and two hits in four innings in relief of Gonsolin on Saturday. He’s probably next in line if the Dodgers need a starter (saw many people theorizing letting him start in Clayton Kershaw‘s place if Kershaw went for the perfect game on Wednesday), and his Dodger debut was pretty promising.
The Dodger bullpen has been pretty strong to start the season and could be getting even more help next month. Tommy Kahnle could be the first of the three injured relievers to return, as Caleb Ferguson is slowing it down due to some soreness.
Am counting my blessings that I don’t have Sunday’s thread.
At some point last night, Orel Hershiser praised the Dodgers on the broadcast for bringing in high-character players (in talking about Freddie Freeman). That maybe isn’t always true. On a better note, the replies to the LA Times tweets are a nice influx of new people to block.
The Dodgers got an early start to their Jackie Robinson Day celebrations.
And of course, all players, coaches and on-field personnel will wear the number 42 tonight. There will be on-field ceremonies before the game that will have the Robinson family present.
In the most on-brand decision, MLB has decided to make tonight’s game only available on Apple TV Plus. You do not need a subscription to watch it, but why not add a bunch of steps to watch this game, I guess. Stephen Nelson, Hunter Pence and Katie Nolan will be on the call. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PDT.