Tony Gonsolin is ready for Game 3

The Dodgers will turn to Tony Gonsolin in Game 3 of the NLDS at Petco Park.

With the NLDS tied at one game a piece, the Dodgers will turn to Tony Gonsolin in Game 3. The decision came as a little bit of a surprise, as Tyler Anderson seemed like the better option.

Nevertheless, Gonsolin will take the mound, looking to give the Dodgers the series lead.

2022 was by far the best season of Gonsolin’s career, but a right forearm strain forced him to miss more than a month near the end of the season. Luckily, he was able to return in the final week and make a start against the Rockies, giving him some game action before taking the mound in Game 3.

“It felt good to throw against guys wearing different colors,” Gonsolin said to reporters via Zoom on Thursday. “To have some real game action. It’s a different feel. It felt good to show that I can still do it.”

Gonsolin went two innings against the Rockies, throwing 40 pitches. He allowed one run on three hits with three strikeouts.

Although he’s appeared in only one big league game since the end of August, manager Dave Roberts said Gonsolin is built up to throw around 75 pitches. There will be restrictions, but he said it will all be determined on how Gonsolin’s stuff looks and how effective he is.

“Not going to pretend I know the plan,” Gonsolin said via Zoom. “Whenever Doc comes out and tells me I’m done, I’m going to ask to go more, he’s going to say no and that’ll be it.”

As mentioned earlier, it seemed as if throwing Anderson in Game 3 would make more sense, considering he’d be able to provide the Dodgers with more length. Roberts said that’s the reason they actually opted to use him in Game 4 instead.

With Andrew Heaney and Dustin May available and fresh, Roberts wouldn’t commit to the Dodgers using one to piggyback Gonsolin when he leaves the game. With Thursday being an off-day, every arm is fresh and available for LA.

“The less amount of pitchers you can use, that’s ideal,” Roberts said via Zoom. “You’ve got to bake in leverage and matchups to keep preventing runs. I don’t see it as a piggyback situation. I see it as a collection of arms. Less is more, but if we have to use six arms we’ll do that.”

For Gonsolin, this won’t be the first time he’s pitched in a huge playoff game in his career. He pitched two innings in Game 7 of the 2020 NLCS. He also started Game 6 of the 2020 World Series. Petco Park will be electric and loud, but the environment won’t be anything new for him.

“We’re fortunate enough to play here at Dodger Stadium,” Gonsolin said on Zoom. “We get 45,000-50,000 people every night when we play. Can’t imagine it’s any more loud than that.”

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