After Tony Gonsolin’s major league debut didn’t go 100% according to plan (4 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 4 ER; 1-2 at the plate), Dodgers manager Dave Roberts touched on a few points from the game.
"The execution could have been a little better but I just don't think we played well behind him."
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) June 26, 2019
When asked whether Gonsolin’s rough debut outing was more attributed to nerves or bad luck, he had this to say.
I think more bad luck. Even talking to him, there’s just the natural nerves as you take the field, and leading up to it. But once he got out there, I think at times the execution could have been a little bit better, but I just don’t think we played well behind him.
Gonsolin added on his debut.
I felt the nerves were pretty good, I felt like they kind of got out of the way when I was playing catch, and in the bullpen. The 1-2 bunt… a little bit by surprise, but I gotta make sure I cover first base – gotta beat the runner to the bag. And I just didn’t execute that pitch on Escobar.
I wouldn’t say the game sped up on me, I thought I held my composure pretty well. I think it just comes down to executing pitches and making the right pitch.
On the questionable defense behind the rookie, and focusing on the Joc Pederson experiment at first base, Roberts was asked whether it would be better to have the strongest defense behind someone making their big league debut.
There’s certainly a balance, I just felt that we’re committing to [Pederson at first base], and it’s not an every day thing. But just to get him an opportunity, he’s fine catching the baseball, he’s taken grounders for the last few years — but obviously in the game, things speed up — that’s part of it. But for me, it’s not just first base, it’s all around.
Roberts went on to point out key plays that were not executed well, and added that “we just didn’t play well.”
Moreover, Pederson at first base continues to look like an interesting experiment at best, and probably something better suited for a test run during spring training, not a pennant race. Roberts, to the best of his ability, deflected and passed blame around, choosing not to highlight one player as the sole reason the team lost 8-2. Because Pederson wasn’t the reason they lost… but it’s tough to say he helped.