The Dodgers took the first game of the series yesterday behind Walker Buehler‘s first career complete game shutout. Buehler needed only 108 pitches to complete nine shutout innings and only dealt with four baserunners (three singles and a HBP). It was a huge boost to a bullpen that’s been a bit derailed by injuries and illness of late, which is especially important as tonight’s starter has struggled with efficiency for most of his career.
|1B||Freeman (L)||RF||Smith (L)|
|SS||T. Turner||LF||Peralta (L)|
|3B||Muncy (L)||DH||Beer (L)|
|CF||Bellinger (L)||3B||Alcantara (S)|
|P||Gonsolin (R)||P||Davies (R)|
Tony Gonsolin gets his fourth start of the season tonight. He’s coming off his best start of the season by far, nearly doubling his season inning-total with six shutout innings against the Braves. Gonsolin has only allowed one run in 13 innings spread across three starts, but his first two were hindered by issues with pitch count. In Colorado, Gonsolin needed 62 pitches to record nine outs. He needed 74 to record 12 outs against the Reds, and last time out completed six innings with 83 pitches. Gonsolin no longer has his piggyback partner as Tyler Anderson was moved into the rotation with Andrew Heaney‘s injury, but Andre Jackson could fill that role should Gonsolin struggle with pitch count again.
Gonsolin only made 15 starts in 2021, but five of them came against Arizona. He only tallied 19 1/3 innings in those five starts and allowed 13 hits and six runs while striking out 22. The Dodgers won four of these five games, but Gonsolin only completed five innings twice. He never gave up more than two runs in a game against the Diamondbacks, but failed to complete two innings in one of his starts after walking five of the 11 batters he faced.
The Dodgers will be facing off against Zach Davies, which generally spells bad luck for LA. Davies has made nine starts in his career against the Dodgers and has a 2.11 ERA, his lowest against any NL team. As a Cub last year, Davies started in LA on June 24 and tossed six no-hit innings. He was pulled after six with 94 pitches (he did walk five batters) and three Cub relievers (including Craig Kimbrel) completed a combined no-hitter. Other than that start, it’s been a couple rough years for Davies. He issued 75 walks in 148 innings, which put him in a tie for second in the majors and one behind Lance McCullers, who threw 14 1/3 more innings. He has improved slightly on his 5.78 ERA last season, with a 5.02 in three starts with Arizona. Two of his three starts were solid enough, with a pair of five-inning, two-run outings. His worst start came April 15 against the Mets, as he allowed five runs (four earned) in 4 1/3 innings.
Davies is essentially a two-pitch pitcher. Last season, he threw a sinker 52.5 percent of the time and averaged only 88 MPH with it. He threw a changeup 32.9 percent of the time, and actually threw more to righties than lefties. He mixes in a cutter and curveball as well.
A normal lineup for the Dodgers with Justin Turner serving as the DH again. Why do the Diamondbacks have so many switch hitters.
Today is Dodger Pitching Rehab Day, apparently.
Victor Gonzalez threw a bullpen today and could be on a rehab assignment soon. Danny Duffy started a throwing program as he tries to return from flexor tendon surgery. Dustin May threw a bullpen as well and made progress throwing a non-fastball.
May could be a big trade deadline acquisition later in the year.
Tommy Kahnle will pitch in back-to-back minor league games this week, and could be activated when the Dodgers host the Giants next week.
A non-Dodger-specific update.
MLB was going to limit the number of pitchers to 13 next Monday, but that now won’t go into effect for another month. The Dodgers currently have 16 pitchers, so they’ll still have to remove two of them from the active roster next week.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 PM PDT and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.