While the Dodgers dropped the final game of the road trip to the Rockies on Sunday, there were more than a few bright spots for the club. One of which was finishing 5-2 on a key divisional road trip. It was a big step for a club that Mookie Betts said took a “punch in the mouth” after an emotional first loss in San Diego.
But a big bright spot on Sunday for Los Angeles was another fine outing from right-hander Tony Gonsolin. The Catman is looking to sink his claws into a rotation spot for the postseason (and I am so sorry for that cheesy line. And he may have done just that after a gutty performance at the pitcher’s nightmare Coors Field in Denver.
Gonsolin tossed 5 innings allowing only 2 runs on 3 hits while striking out a career-high 10 batters. It was the third game thrown at Coors for the rookie righty, all three of which have been more or less successful. Something he attributes to the veteran leadership of Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.
After Sunday’s outing, Tony explained.
I asked Kersh a little bit two days ago if he had anything for me. He basically said, ‘Aim lower. Trust your stuff. If you still throw a good pitch, it’s going to be a good pitch here as it would be at Dodger Stadium or wherever.’ So, that’s kind of what the mindset was. If I just throw pitches like I’m supposed to, they’ll still be good.
Surely getting advice from one of the best to ever do it has to feel some sort of way. Now, perhaps Gonsolin shouldn’t have aired out trade secrets on a Zoom call, but it offered a window into the world of Clayton Kershaw, veteran leader, which is not usually on full display.
Moreover, on Saturday, Dave Roberts noted the relationships building between his veteran ace and the younger arms like Gonsolin, Dustin May, and even still Walker Buehler. With guys like Hyun-Jin Ryu, Rich Hill, and even Ross Stripling gone, Kersh is by far the longest in the tooth of the bunch. It’s good to know that he’s truly leading now.