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The final 2021 Dodgers-Padres matchup is here

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Gonsolin will pitch for the Dodgers in his final regular season start

San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers
Dave Roberts, Mookie Betts, and Corey Seager of the LA Dodgers celebrate Seager’s game-winning 2-run home run in the 8th inning last night over the Padres, Sept 29, 2021.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

We arrive at the last face-off between the Dodgers and the Padres of the 2021 season after a wild second game of the series. The Dodgers are now 11-7 against the Padres this season, winning the last eight in a row against them stretching back to August.

Tonight will be Tony Gonsolin’s last regular season start for the year, and the goal will be for him to get through five innings — something he’s done just twice in the last month. Gonsolin is pitching on average of just over four innings in starts lately as he ramps back up since his return in September.

Gonsolin has not faced the Padres this year, having been out for a significant chunk of the season with his shoulder injury. Last year, the Padres hit .163 against him.

Gonsolin has struggled this season to replicate last year’s regular season control, walking 32 batters so far this season (as opposed to seven total last year). His ERA for the last five games is 3.52 — not the worst, but its’ hard to believe that Gonsolin was the starting pitcher in Game 6 of the World Series last year against the Tampa Bay Rays’ Blake Snell. He’s said recently that he’s feeling good and has made some tweaks to his mechanics that resulted in a faster fastball and a more solid curveball.

On the Padres side, RHP Vince Velasquez (3-8, 6.22 ERA) will start. The Dodgers haven’t faced Velasquez since 2018 when he was on the Phillies. Velasquez was released by the Phillies a few weeks ago and picked up by the Padres right around when Snell went on the injured list. He isn’t doing great since joining San Diego or this year in general — in two starts for the Padres, he’s logged a 9.00 ERA. Last week against the Giants he went just one inning, allowing three earned runs on 37 pitches.

The Dodgers burned through a bit of the Padres bullpen last night as well — which was already in a beleaguered state. The Padres offense may again have a burst of life as they did last night, though I’d prefer if they wait until the weekend to really come alive. It promises to be another eventful evening so I recommend that you don’t turn off the game in the seventh.

Game Info

Teams: Padres (78-80) at Dodgers (102-56)

Location: Dodger Stadium

Time: 7:10 p.m.

TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network (out of market)