I was reading Houston Mitchell today and I came across the following:
“Which makes writing a newsletter twice a week during the regular season difficult at times. At no point should this newsletter become a rah-rah cheerleader. And at no point should it focus just on the negative.”
“But it’s hard to write a lot of negative things during the season about a team that consistently wins games. Every season there are holes on the team. This season it’s the lack of offense from Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger, and problems with injuries in the bullpen and rotation. And writing about that week after week after week is monotonous and beating a dead horse.”
I run into this issue every day. My mentor in this arena told me that he could come up with a column and write it in 30 minutes. He wasn’t wrong. Me, as most of you who have followed, know that I rely on my research. My two partners, Harold and Rob, are also research driven.
I have never been a Kool Aid drinker or Pollyanna writer about the Dodgers. I recognize the negatives. I have commented on them quite a bit. I would prefer to just write positive commentary as most LAD blogs focus on. But that is not who I am. If I see or read something that I may disagree with, I comment on it. That practice makes it easier for me to comments on your comments I have found that negative comments drive responses. And yet that is not why I make those types of comments. I do not follow the practice of making comments even if I do not believe them just to drive the comment count. I always believe what I write about.
I have found that I like the way Houston Mitchell approaches his articles as well. Maybe it is because I agree with much of what he says. For the last week or so, I have commented that this year’s team reminds me so much of the 2017 team. Okay the walk off wins are not there, but the dominance is very similar. Houston Mitchell said something very similar in his latest column…
“The only season since this newsletter began that I was convinced the Dodgers were the best team in baseball was 2017. And we all know what happened there.”
Which brings me to tonight’s columns. Houston Mitchell again wrote what I was thinking…
“The compulsive worrier in me sees Gonsolin have a poor outing in his last start, then sees him get lit up in the All-Star Game, and wonders if a serious regression is in store for the second half.”
For me, it almost looks like Tony Gonsolin has hit a wall. The number of swings and misses and chases that he got early in the season, he is not getting now. He does not appear to be attacking the strike zone as much. Almost like he is nibbling. Nibbling is tantamount to not believing in your stuff.
While many were already calling Tony the likely CY winner, there were some of us who were concerned that he was just pitching too many innings early in the season. He is now 40+ IP more than his high of 55.2 in 2021, and we have not hit 100 games yet. And he is not showing any indication that he is getting stronger.
First 16 games, 88.2 IP, 17 runs (16 earned) on 48 hits. In his last 2 games, 11.0 IP, 9 runs (all earned) on 13 hits. Counting the 1.0 All Star inning, he has allowed 4 HRs in 12.0 IP, and none of them were cheapies. I hope that it will not be a “serious regression” as Houston Mitchell stated, but he clearly is not the same pitcher. I can hear the apologists now as they say that there were a lot of bleeder lucky bounce hits. Maybe, but how many hard hit balls were turned into outs. They even out. Early in the season, those hits are outs. To his credit, he owned the seeing eye hits after the game.
He had 7 whiffs on 90 pitches last night. That is one of his lowest totals all season. In 18 starts, he has had less than 7 whiffs only once. He has been in double digits in 12 games. He just is not the same pre-July 7 Tony Gonsolin. He has not pitched in 12 days, so he certainly was not overworked over the last 2 weeks. Overworked over the season????
Okay, enough haranguing on Tony Gonsolin. While he was not efficient or effective, this game was lost because of the offense. The offense was 0-8 WRISP. Multiple times, a runner on 3B with less than 2 outs and could not score. The top 3 in the order was 2 for 13; the middle 3 were 2 for 12; the bottom 3 were 4 for 11. Gavin Lux 2-4, Cody Bellinger 0-4, and Trayce Thompson 2-3 with a BB.
The 8 game win streak is also snapped, but the Dodgers did not lose any ground to SD or SF. But they are now behind NYY for the best overall record. This will become very important comes WS time.
It is one game, and it was to the worst team in all of MLB. They were facing a pitcher that most will call AAAA who never hit 90 all night. These games happen. What I am most concerned with is if Tony Gonsolin will put the last 2 games behind him and get back to dominating. If the team stays true to the 6 man rotation, then his next outing will come in Colorado on Sunday. He has not pitched poorly at all in 12.0 IP in Colorado. I am very much looking forward to that game.
The Dodgers need to put this one in the rear view mirror. Now it is time to start a 13 game win streak.
- Nationals – 2
- Rockies – 4
- Giants – 4
- Padres – 3
Or am I asking for too much?
Finally, a look at CT3…
— DodgersBeat (@DodgersBeat) July 25, 2022
Tuesday’s Game Preview: