Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Live Updates, Scores and News
Four hours before the Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 on Thursday after a walk-off hit by Mookie Betts, everyone’s eyes in blue were on the Dodger Stadium pitcher’s mound.
Manager Dave Roberts and bench coach Bob Geren stood near the third baseline, arms crossed. Andrew Friedman, President of Baseball Operations, watched while chatting with Betts. A good half-dozen pitchers of the Dodgers leaned against the dugout railings and watched every seat.
No one needed to state the obvious: What they saw could seriously affect their post-season net worth.
Tony Gonsolin, who has been on the injured list since August 29 with a forearm strain, threw himself at teammates Gavin Lux, Chris Taylor, Hanser Alberto and Miguel Vargas. Holding nothing back, the all-star right-hander threw his four-seam fastball, slider, curveball, and split-finger fastball.
Gonsolin, whose injury punctuated a breakout season with a 16-1 record and 2.10 ERA, took a seat in the dugout while reliever David Price – also on the injured list – faced the same four hitters. Gonsolin came back for another frame, and when he was done with the two-inning simulation known as “Up-Down,” there were restrained smiles everywhere.
“I thought the stuff was good, the arm speed was good, and he used all his pitch mixing, which was great,” Roberts said. “Provided he comes out of it well, there’s going to be a bullpen in a couple of days, then another live two-in-three, hopefully up and down. Really encouraging for Tony.”
Equally encouraging was the rally in the ninth inning, breaking a 2-1 deficit as it allowed the Dodgers to split the four-game series. Cody Bellinger led with a double – he narrowly missed a home run – and Will Smith and Max Muncy followed a deliberate walk to Freddie Freeman with infield singles to even the score. With two outs, Betts pinched Joey Gallo, fouled a full count pitch, and drove a single into left field to hit Freeman.
Betts had the night off but picked up a few hacks in the batting cage in the ninth inning if needed.
“I was hoping not to score,” Betts said, “but you get into a situation that requires it and you turn on your brain and you’re ready to go.”
Dodgers closer Craig Kimbrel, as shaky as ever, was touched for Christian Walker’s home run at the top of ninth place and scored a tie in a game highlighted by dominant pitching from Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen, who hit 13 and only two Baserunner allowed in eight innings.
The pitcher who could be the Dodgers’ next best option as a closer — Blake Treinen — admitted Thursday he doesn’t know if he can serve in the playoffs.
Treinen was conspicuously absent during Gonsolin’s pre-game opener. Unable to shake the shoulder pain, the valued aide stayed in the clubhouse chatting with a member of the training staff while Gonsolin and Price lined up.
Roberts had expressed skepticism a day earlier that Treinen would be healthy for the playoffs. The pitcher did not disagree with his manager.
“The body is such a delicate thing that it’s a bit difficult to recover the way I wanted to,” he said. “But I don’t think there’s a definitive answer one way or the other anymore. I can only try to get to a point where I can be used, where I can help the team.”
Hard-throwing Brusdar Graterol returned from the injured list on Thursday, a welcome addition to a bullpen anchored by right-hander Evan Phillips, left-hander Alex Vesia and Kimbrel. Treinen’s involvement is tenuous at best.
“I would use the word frustrating,” Roberts said of Treinen’s status. “He’s not coming back. We’re going to give him a few days without a pitch, then he’ll pick up a baseball on Saturday and see how he reacts.
Gonsolin is significantly closer to a return and would be a huge boost. After being idle for almost a month, his stamina may not be enough to last more than three to four innings. Still, he has only given up 76 hits in 128 1/3 innings.
Without him, the postseason starting rotation could consist of four lefties: Julio Urías, Clayton Kershaw, Andrew Heaney and Tyler Anderson. Everyone enjoys beautiful seasons, but Heaney and Anderson don’t have any postseason experience. Right-hander Dustin May is in the mix but has been fickle in six starts since returning from Tommy John surgery.
“I don’t expect it to be the same build as it was before he joined the IL, but I think that giving us an opportunity to get some valuable innings is still in play,” Roberts said of Gonsolin. “He’s starting a game? Then it’s up to us to see how long we can keep him out there.”
Lux got pretty lucky in the simulation match against Gonsolin and Price, holding up two fingers and insisting to trainers Mark Prior and Dino Ebel that he had two hits. The coaches vetoed Lux’s claim, saying if the defense had been in one shift he would not have scored. Lux barked back, but it was all just for fun.
Moments later, Lux was firing ground balls from a coach’s fungo bat until he was puffing, puffing and sweating profusely. Then the game started and he made a bad call, spinning and throwing wildly to second base after fielding a grounder several feet to his left in the third inning. The mistake led to the Diamondbacks first run.
The Dodgers responded with two outs in the fourth against Gallen, who showed a devastating ankle turn as he retired the first 11 batters — six on strikeouts. Smith tripled and Muncy doubled to equalize 1-1.
These were the only Dodgers baserunners in eight innings – Gallen retired the next 13 straight, including seven more by strikeout. The right-hander is having a breakout season with a 12-3 record and a 2.46 ERA. Still, Gallen had thrown 98 pitches — 77 for strikes — and manager Torey Lovullo picked him up.
Roberts drew Urías in Phillips’ favor after the first two Diamondbacks batters jabbed the ball in the sixth inning — Stone Garrett doubled up to left center and Emmanuel Rivera lined up Muncy for third. Urías pitched 89 — 62 strikes — while giving up three hits and hitting five. Phillips knocked out two batsmen to end the threat, Vesia hit the side in the seventh and Graterol hit one two three eights.
To the delight of the Dodgers, the Diamondbacks replaced Gallen with Reyes Moronta, whom the Dodgers had selected for the assignment a few weeks ago. Neither Moronta nor left-hander Joe Mantiply were up to the task, and Betts – his brain clearly on – delivered.