The 2020 season saw the emergence of a young southpaw reliever from Tuxpan, Mexico. After spending 7 years in the Dodgers’ farm system, Victor González broke out and became a vital part of the team’s bullpen.
In 15 games he finished the year with a 3-0 record to go along with a 1.33 ERA and 23 strikeouts to only 2 walks. He was electric, becoming the go-to guy to get the team out of tough situations. While he wasn’t as strong in the postseason, he still managed to help the team win the World Series.
Coming into the 2021 season, González was obviously going to be the main lefty option out of the pen for Dave Roberts. However, he hasn’t had the same success in his second year. In fact, the 25-year old looked flat in Monday night’s game against the San Francisco Giants. After being called on to help bail out Phil Bickford, González only made the situation worse. He allowed 4 runs to score (one being charged to Bickford) and handed the lead to the Giants who wound up winning 7-2.
Following the game, Doc had a few things to say about Victor’s recent outing and when he sees him at his best.
“When he’s pitching at the hollow of the knee he’s good, he’s really good. The depth of the baseball is there when it’s at that height. When it’s up it just flattens out. Tonight the fastball was elevated and the breaking ball was a cement mixer and it just kind of spun. We just gotta keep getting better.”
A lot has gone wrong for Victor this year. He’s no longer inducing ground balls at the same rate he did in 2020 and his walk rate has dramatically. It was 2.5% in 2020 and 11.6% this season. That’s been huge part of his underperforming season. While he was called on a lot last year to clean up messes, he’s often created his own this year thanks in part to the 15 walks he’s issued.
If the productive Victor is to return, he’ll need to work on his command and live in the bottom of the zone once again.