The Dodgers scored only one run on Saturday night. They recorded five hits. Sometimes in baseball that’s all you need, as the Dodgers defeated the Rockies, 1-0.
Their lone run came off the bat of an Austin Barnes home run in the second inning. It was his fourth homer of the season and it proved to be the difference maker for the Dodgers. Barnes had two of LA’s five hits on the night and has five hits over his last three games.
Aside from that, the offense was hard to come by as the Dodgers totaled three other hits. Kyle Freeland was fantastic for the Rockies and usually does well when he faces LA. He tossed seven innings and struck out six.
Tony Gonsolin had his best outing of the season, as he continues to go deeper into games for the Dodgers. He went 5 1⁄3 innings on 81 pitches, allowing only two hits. It’s the second time this season Gonsolin has thrown 5 1⁄3 innings and the second time he’s struck out seven. He had only seven whiffs on the night, with five of them coming via his slider. However, he had 18 called strikes, one of his best numbers of the season.
“Throwing a lot of strikes,” Gonsolin said when asked what led to his success. “I was able to get first pitch strikes and didn’t fall behind in too many counts.”
What was really encouraging from Gonsolin was his ability to throw strikes, as he walked only two batters. Obviously the ideal number would be zero, but considering his shaky command at times this season, you’ll live with it.
The rest of the bullpen did their job. Alex Vesia tossed 1 1⁄3 innings and didn’t allow a hit, as he continues his dominant stretch since being called back up. Since returning to LA, Vesia has thrown seven scoreless innings while allowing only two hits.
Joe Kelly, who Dave Roberts said was unavailable tonight, was very much available as he recorded a strikeout after taking the ball from Vesia. Blake Treinen took the eighth and efficiently recorded three outs on only eight pitches.
Kenley Jansen entered the game in the ninth with a one-run lead. The whole stadium was holding their breath, but the big man shuts things down. He quickly recorded two outs and four pitches, needing one out to secure the save. After jumping ahead 0-2 on Ryan McMahon, he fell behind and walked him, putting the tying run on base.
C.J. Cron stepped to the plate representing the go-ahead run. Jansen made quick work of him, striking him out on three pitches to secure his biggest save of the season.
“I was really excited the way he was received tonight,” Roberts said following the game. “That’s what makes Dodgers fans the best in all of sports. I know Kenley fed off that. He was really good tonight. To have him close out that game was really big for all of us.”
“We’ve had some tough losses, we need Kenley,” Barnes said. “He’s been good for us. There’s bumps in the roads sometimes. He responds.”
With the Dodgers desperately needing their starters to eat innings this week, the rotation has done a fantastic job. Walker Buehler and Julio Urias each went deep in their starts, while David Price and Gonsolin each gave the Dodgers much needed innings as well.
With the Pirates close to beating the Giants, the Dodgers are likely going to head into Sunday’s game trailing by two games in the division.
WP: Tony Gonsolin (2-1) 5 1⁄3 IP, 0 ER, 7 SO
LP: Kyle Freeland (1-5) 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 SO
SV: Kenley Jansen (22) 1 IP, 1 SO
HR: Austin Barnes (4)