Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: Tony Gonsolin Credits Clayton Kershaw for His Transformational Season

The Dodgers rotation is headlined by Walker Buehler, Julio Urías, and Clayton Kershaw. The trio of hurlers anchor the Dodgers rotation, but a name that always seems to fly under the radar has arguably been LA’s best starter 30-plus games into the 2022 season – Tony Gonsolin.

On Monday night against the Diamondbacks, Gonsolin registered a quality start that the depleted pitching staff desperately needed. Tony Smokes allowed just two runs on three hits. He struck out seven and walked only two. Gonsolin needed 92 pitches to get through six, but led the way in the Dodgers 5-4 win over a surprisingly competitive Arizona club.

After the game, Gonsolin revealed that he’s turned to Kershaw for advice on how to get deep into games – something Tony has struggled with over the last few seasons.

“I’ve just been trying to get some early contact. Talked with Kersh a lot about how to go deeper into games, what works and what doesn’t work, and trying to figure out a way that works for me.”

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The righty continued to explain how being mentored by Kershaw has helped him thrive this season.

“Mainly just being able to throw off speed stuff for strikes and throwing a lot of strikes. “Not throwing non-competitive pitches, figuring out what pitch works for me to get weak contact early in counts.”

The value of Dodgers pitchers getting the opportunity to pick the brain of a future Hall-of-Famer isn’t lost on manager Dave Roberts. 

“That’s something that Major League starters take pride in. Having Clayton as a mentor has kind of been the finishing touches.”

Gonsolin has a 1.64 ERA across seven starts this season. He’s gone at least five innings in his last three starts. Tony Smokes will likely get the ball again when the Dodgers kick off a ten-game road trip with a three-game set in Philadelphia.

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Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Favorite Dodger Stadium food is the old school chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Host of the Dodgers Nation 3 Up, 3 Down Podcast.

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