What is it with these Dodgers and no-no bids? In a series that saw Dave Roberts send out to the mound Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler for the first two games, Tony Gonsolin was the starting pitcher who stole the show, with a masterful performance on Wednesday. The Dodgers beat the Braves in the rubber match, 5-1.
This battle of heavy hitters to decide the series followed the same script as the first two. These are two strong teams and once they get a lead, they often run with it. That’s what the Dodgers did behind Freddie Freeman and Cody Bellinger in the opener, that’s what the Braves did behind Max Fried on Tuesday;
Freeman couldn’t have scripted this any better. The former Brave got another long-ball against his former team, his two-run bomb in the top of the first against Charlie Morton gave the Dodgers an early lead and the team never looked back.
Morton was far from his best self, battling command issues, and ultimately walking three different batters on four-pitch counts. The Braves right-hander left after 5⅓ innings with four runs allowed.
On the other side of the pitching matchup, on a day where bad news came to light with Andrew Heaney’s trip to the injured list, Gonsolin stepped it up like he knew this meant a little more. The Dodgers needed to rely more heavily in Gonsolin in this one, with the cushion of Tyler Anderson as a designated piggyback starter no longer available.
Gonsolin ended up carrying a no-hit bid into the sixth inning until Manny Pina managed an infield hit on a squeaker to second base. Gonso relied on his slider more heavily than in the past, and with plenty of success, the pitch generated nine whiffs on 18 swings.
In perhaps the most important aspect of this outing, Gonsolin kept the bases clear for the most part. It’s been a struggle for him which he has gotten around by pitching out of innumerable gems, but that’s only sustainable until it comes back to bite you.
It wasn’t ideal as Gonsolin still walked three batters, but it is a step in the right direction, as the Dodgers will need him to eat up more innings with Anderson going back to the rotation.
Edwin Ríos managed to run into one in the final inning of Charlie Morton’s outing. It’s good to see the big man translating some of that spring training success into numbers in the regular season.
Another highlight of the day was Cody Bellinger with a double and a triple, the latter of which chased Morton out of the game.
Brusdar Graterol and Mitch White kept the great run from the ‘pen pitching three innings allowing only a run to wrap up the 5-1 win.
Home runs: Freddie Freeman (2), Edwin Ríos (1)
WP - Tony Gonsolin (1-0): 6 IP, 1 hit, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts
LP - Charlie Morton (1-2): 5⅓ IP, 6 hits, 4 runs, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts
The Dodgers travel to San Diego for a series with the Padres that begins Friday (6:40 p.m.; SportsNet LA). Julio Urías gets the ball to open up that series against the Friars, against right-hander Nick Martinez.