Dodgers @ Pirates April 26, 2023: Dodgers look for longest winning streak of the season as Gonsolin returns

Tony Gonsolin (Photo: Stacie Wheeler)

The Dodgers survived a bad Noah Syndergaard start to take the series opener against the surprisingly good Pirates last night. Chris Taylor nearly doubled his hit total of the season with a three-hit game, and the Dodgers overcame a five-run deficit behind five strong innings out of their shorthanded and struggling bullpen. Today, the Dodgers look for their fourth consecutive win and get an important reinforcement back in their rotation.

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3:35 PM Pittsburgh
RF Betts 3B Hayes
1B Freeman (L) LF Reynolds (S)
CF Heyward (L) DH McCutchen
LF Outman (L) 1B Santana (S)
2B Vargas CF Suwinski (L)
3B Busch (L) RF Joe
SS Taylor SS Castro (S)
DH Peralta (L) 2B Hwan Bae (L)
C Wynns C Delay
P Gonsolin (R) P Contreras (R)

Tony Gonsolin returns to the rotation today after suffering an ankle injury during Spring Training. It was originally seen as an injury that may keep him out of the Opening Day roster, and evolved into a longer injury that kept him from making a rehab start until last Thursday. He made a start at OKC and threw 57 pitches in three innings, with seven of his nine recorded outs coming via the strikeout. He walked two batters and the lone hit he allowed was a two-run homer. It was supposed to be his first of up to four rehab starts, but a Michael Grove groin strain opened up a spot in the Dodger rotation. Gonsolin was stellar last season for the Dodgers, with a 2.14 ERA in 130 1/3 innings before a forearm strain sidelined up for nearly the final two months of the season. He came back for one short start in October and one playoff game. Since his rehab assignment was shortened, he’s not expected to pitch more than four innings today.

Roansy Contreras starts for the Pirates today. Contreras will be making his fifth start of the season, and three of his four prior starts have been excellent. In 18 1/3 innings over those three starts, he’s allowed 14 hits, four runs and struck out 16 batters. His bad start came against the Astros, where he allowed seven runs and nine hits in 3 1/3 innings. Contreras has yet to surrender a home run this season, after allowing 13 in 95 innings in 2022. This will be Contreras’ first look at the Dodgers in his short career.

So far this season, Contreras has thrown his slider more often than any other pitch. He’s thrown it 45.7 percent of the time this season and opponents are hitting only .128 off the pitch (all five hits allowed off the slider have been singles). He’s thrown his fastball 37.8 percent of the time (and averages 94 MPH on it), and so far it’s gotten rocked. Opponents are hitting .500 with a .656 slugging percentage off his fastball and he’s only gotten a whiff on 1.8 percent of his fastballs this year. Some of the contact has been poor luck, as his xBA and xSLG are .330 and .504 against the fastball, respectively. Not great, but not as bad as his actual numbers have been.

J.D. Martinez remains out of the lineup with a back injury as David Peralta serves as the DH today. Martinez is unavailable today, but should be able to avoid the IL. Mookie Betts returns to right field with Taylor starting at short, and Michael Busch makes his first start in the field at third today.

As for the Pirates, seriously, who doesn’t post a lineup less than an hour from first pitch? Regardless of the incredibly annoying time, following their press conference announcing his extension, the Pirates activated Bryan Reynolds from the bereavement list and he’s back in the lineup for the Pirates today.


Gonsolin’s return means a roster move was made.

Andre Jackson was sent back down. He pitched three innings in the 13-0 loss against the Cubs on Friday and allowed five hits and two runs.


Will Smith took BP today.

Smith’s been symptom-free, but still doesn’t have a return date. He won’t return Friday but could be back on Saturday. The Austin’s have not been great in his absence, so hopefully Saturday.

Miguel Rojas, also injured.

He’ll need a rehab assignment before returning, but could be back next week.




First pitch is scheduled for 3:35 PM PT and will be shown on SportsNet LA.

About Alex Campos

I've been writing about the Dodgers since I graduated from Long Beach State, where I covered the Dirtbags in my senior year. I'm either very good or very bad at puns.