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Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw Offers Some Key Advice to Tony Gonsolin



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.

NEXT: Clayton Kershaw isn’t Worried about Game 1 of the Playoffs

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. Gonsolin has earned a spot in the playoff rotation – despite Roberts’ coy non-commitment – and everyone knows it. His stuff plays and he seems unflappable. I don’t see why the team would feel any less comfortable with him on the mound as Kershaw or Buehler.

  2. Bum4ever , the uncomfortable feeling is not on who is in the starting rotation for the playoff roster, it’s the fact that Roberts is managing it along with what he does with the lineups. THAT’ to me is the concern based on the last few October’s.

  3. These guys are going to show up to the postseason with no experience on going more than 5 innings and that’s on Friedman and his puppet. We think these guys are studs but do we really know? They barely pitch any innings, they were failed this year by management and in a 60 game season no less. They better pray they didn’t burnout this bullpen because clearly they will be getting the bulk of the innings

    • IDK. Michael Wacha entered the 2013 playoffs with 60 innings of experience, shutout the Dodgers twice in the NLCS, and went 1 – 1 in the World Series. Some guys just have it and Gonsolin looks – not only this year but last – like one of them.

    • Because astute management understands baseball is an analytical game, and analytics clearly reveal third time thru the order is perilous for starting pitching, not to mention injury risks exponentially increase after so many pitches. There is a reason they’ve won more games by a long shot than any other team over last 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, just keep going.

      • Your comment is correct within limits. Taken literally there would never be a no-hitter thrown or a dominantly pitched playoff game. It is an analytical game but is also an emotional game fueled by competitiveness. A pitcher’s determination and craftiness can trump all but, if he’s never thrown more than 75 pitches in a game, he simply won’t have the gas.
        So, do pitchers get hit harder 3rd time through because hitters figure them out and they tire or do they tire and lose their edge because they’re never extended past 75 pitches?

      • But haven’t won a World Series in any of those years. And don’t play “the Astros cheated” card. The Dodgers had them at home for 4 of the 7, and all they had to do was win game 7.

        • Very true! Don is correct and perfect example Roberts in his ultimate wisdom pulls Gonsolin after only 5 innings and had 10 KS already. And No starter has thrown even 1 pich in the 8th inning all year. What takes place in October should Dodgers get sent home after the first or 2nd round will have Roberts and Freidmans stamp on it. But it’s a different type of year so wss..

  4. Tony will be able to handle the pressure of the post season. It will be a lot easier for him without the fans and he has a very good defense and offense behind him.

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