Blue Jays pounce on Gonsolin, win 8-1 in hot series finale

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Tony Gonsolin struggled and the offense never got going in a disappointing afternoon loss.

LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers came out flat on a hot Wednesday afternoon at Dodger Stadium right after an exhausting comeback win the night before. They now have lost their first series back at home against Toronto and got completely out-hit and out-pitched in this series except for the four run comeback win.

Tony Gonsolin’s struggles continued Wednesday as he gave up five runs and three walks over five innings of work and the bullpen followed suit. Alex Vesia threw an inning and gave up a run and Tyson Miller, who made his Dodger debut after appearing in seven games for the Brewers this year, went two innings and gave up two runs in relief. 

Tony Gonsolin has had his issues so far this year, but Wednesday he did not have it from the get go. He was erratic and couldn’t command his pitches which led to Blue Jays hitters taking advantage of balls left over the plate. Bo Bichette went 3-5 with 2 RBI’s and Whit Merrifield had a couple hits to go along with 4 RBI’s. The Blue Jays had a combined 11 hits off of Dodger pitching in this one.

The offense did not do much today either, striking out a collective twelve times. J.D. Martinez and Chris Taylor each had three strikeouts and the two superstars only contributed a hit apiece. This lineup is in a bit of a funk sans the ninth and tenth innings last night, which could point to why they are making minor moves to supplement the depth.

Freddie Freeman extended his on-base streak to 26 games Wednesday however, and newly acquired Kiké Hernandez went 2-4 in his 2023 Dodger debut. James Outman also had another nice day after his heroics the night before, going 2-4 with the Dodgers lone RBI on the day.

Here are my three takeaways from the game: 

The Offense Is In A Lull   

I understand that they had a respectable eight hits Wednesday, and a huge comeback win where the offense exploded the night before, but this team has struggled since last Saturday in Arlington. Freddie Freeman and James Outman have been hot, but after a respectable road trip by Max Muncy, even he has cooled off at home. The most concerning part is the hitting with RISP, which was largely their issue in the playoffs. It has to give Dodger fans PTSD from last October, but this team just acquired Kiké Hernandez and Amed Rosario who crush lefties. They should be fine…

Tony Gonsolin Has Struggled   

Last year, Tony Gonsolin was one of the top pitchers in all of baseball, let alone the Dodgers. This year, he boasts a 4.25 ERA and has not been the same in terms of command and velocity from the year before. His fastball usually sits in the low 90’s in 2023 and was in the mid 90’s last year, he isn’t forcing groundball contact, and is consistently leaving balls up in the zone for opposing hitters to take advantage. Either he has an injury that isn’t being talked about or he needs a mental reset, whether that be in a “phantom IL” stint or a trip to Oklahoma City to work on some things. 

Amed Rosario Is A Dodger  

Much like yesterday, the Dodgers acquired a veteran infielder that had been struggling up until this point in 2023. They traded for Amed Rosario mid-game today in a puzzling move. For me, this isn’t what this team needed, as Rosario had struggled both offensively and defensively this year after an excellent 2022 season. But, let me tell you why it does make sense to a certain extent. Amed Rosario is slashing .291/.307/.442 in July with 5 2B, 1 3B and 2 HR and has an .822 OPS against lefties. That is a pretty big offensive upgrade over Miguel Rojas, but defensively he still has major issues. Time will tell if this is something that is good or bad for this team. 

The Dodgers have an off day tomorrow before welcoming in the upstart Cincinnati Reds to Los Angeles Friday. Bobby Miller will take the mound against Brandon Williamson for the Reds. The first pitch is set for 7:10 PM PST.