Dodgers Dugout: A closer look at Tony Gonsolin and Tyler Anderson

Tony Gonsolin
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and in this grim, miserable, brutal season, the Dodgers are on pace to win only 102 games.

The Dodgers swept an Angels team that is on a downward spiral, but the big news were the two pitchers who led the way.

Tyler Anderson pitched 8 1/3 hitless innings against the Angels on Wednesday, the no-hit bid ending when Shohei Ohtani tripled.

Before we talk a little more about Anderson, who thought Dave Roberts was going to pull Anderson after seven innings? And then, who thought he’d certainly pull him after eight innings and more than 100 pitches?

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But no, Roberts left him in, almost as if he looks at each no-hit situation as its own entity, and makes decisions based on that. Anderson had an extra day of rest before this start.

“I know I’ve got this reputation as the Grim Reaper,” Roberts said, “but I’m a sports fan, too, and I wanted that just as much.”

Mookie Betts made a valiant attempt by diving for the ball Ohtani hit in the ninth, but he was far from the ball.


“I kind of laughed that he dove for it,” Anderson said. “It’s a very nice gesture. But [he was] so far away.”

It was easily the best of Anderson’s 123 career starts. Most of his best career starts have come this season with the Dodgers, who are certainly getting their money’s worth from the one-year, $8-million deal they gave him.

Anderson’s starts this year:

April 23 at San Diego, 4.2 IP, 4 hits, 2 earned runs, 3 walks, 4 K’s, no decision, Dodgers lose, 3-2

April 29 vs. Detroit, 5 IP, 5 hits, 1 ER, 1 walk, 3 K’s, win, Dodgers win, 5-1

May 7 at Chicago Cubs, 5 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, 1 walk, 7 K’s, W, Dodgers win, 6-2

May 12 vs. Philadelphia, 6 IP, 10 hits, 7 ER, 0 walks, 5 K’s, no decision, Dodgers lose, 9-7

May 17 vs. Arizona, 7 IP, 7 hits, 2 ER, 0 walks, 7 K’s, W, Dodgers win, 12-3

May 23 at Washington, 8 IP, 5 hits, 0 ER, 0 walks, 8 K’s, W, Dodgers win, 10-1

May 29 at Arizona, 6 IP, 5 hits, 0 ER, 1 walk, 6 K’s, W, Dodgers win, 3-1

June 3 vs. New York Mets, 6 IP, 3 hits, 0 ER, 0 walks, 5 K’s, W, Dodgers win, 6-1

June 9 at Chicago White Sox, 3 IP, 4 hits, 4 ER, 3 walks, 2 K’s, ND, Dodgers win, 11-9

June 15 vs. Angels, 8.1 IP, 1 hit, 1 ER, 2 walks, 8 K’s, W, Dodgers win, 4-1

Total, 7-0, 2.90 ERA, 59 IP, 48 hits, 19 ER, 11 walks, 55 K’s, 2.90 ERA, .219 opponent batting average, 3.26 FIP

Anderson is 32 and has pitched for five teams in seven major-league seasons. His best season before this was his rookie year in 2016, when he went 5-6 with a 3.54 ERA in 19 starts with the Colorado Rockies.

Then there is Tony Gonsolin, who gave up one hit in 6.1 shutout innings against the Angels on Tuesday, improving to 8-0 with a major-league leading 1.42 ERA in 12 starts. He has not given up more than three runs in any game this season, and that was just one time, in April against Arizona. He has had five starts where he allowed no runs, four starts with one run and two starts with two runs.

Gonsolin has always been a good pitcher who could never pitch deep into games, but he has pitched at least six innings in his last six starts. He also has been miserable in the postseason, where he has a 9.45 ERA in 13.1 innings.

I was curious as to how Gonsolin’s 1.42 ERA after his first 12 starts stacked up against other Dodgers in history after their first 12 starts of a season. Turns out, it does pretty well:

Best ERA after first 12 starts of season (since 1920):

Don Drysdale, 1968, 6-3, 1.33 ERA, 95 IP, 0.958 WHIP

Hyun-jin Ryu, 2019, 9-1, 1.35 ERA, 80 IP, 0.775 WHIP

Tony Gonsolin, 2022, 8-0, 1.42 ERA, 63.1 IP, 0.821 WHIP

Sandy Koufax, 1963, 8-3, 1.45 ERA, 93.1 IP, 0.793 WHIP

Clayton Kershaw, 2016, 8-1, 1.46 ERA, 92.2 IP, 0.648 WHIP

Sandy Koufax, 1966, 9-1, 1.48 ERA, 91.1 IP, 1.007 WHIP

Don Sutton, 1975, 8-3, 1.64 ERA, 98.2 IP, 0.821 WHIP

Leon Cadore, 1920, 5-4, 1.69 ERA, 111.2 IP, 1.066 WHIP

Don Sutton, 1972, 8-2, 1.72 ERA, 99.1 IP, 0.846 WHIP

Bill Singer, 1968, 5-5, 1.76 ERA, 97.1 IP, 0.945 WHIP

Note that Gonsolin is the only pitcher on the list who didn’t lose a game, but he pitched far fewer innings than anyone else.

Of course, now that Gonsolin and Anderson have been praised heavily in this newsletter, they will go out and get rocked in their next start.


Times Dave Roberts has pulled a pitcher throwing a no-hitter:

April 8, 2016: Right-hander Ross Stripling throws 7.1 no-hit innings in his major-league debut in San Francisco before Roberts pulls him after 100 pitches. Stripling had Tommy John surgery in 2014. Chris Hatcher gives up a home run to the first batter he faces and the Dodgers lose.

Sept. 10, 2016: Left-hander Rich Hill is removed after seven perfect innings at Miami. He had thrown 89 pitches and was removed because had a history of blisters and Roberts wanted to protect him so he could pitch in the postseason. Joe Blanton gives up a hit in the eighth inning.

May 4, 2018: Walker Buehler is pulled after six no-hit innings and 93 pitches against San Diego in Monterrey, Mexico. It is Buehler’s third start in the majors. Tony Cingrani, Yimi García and Adam Liberatore finish the combined no-hitter.

April 13, 2022: Clayton Kershaw uses 80 pitches to throw seven perfect innings at Minnesota and is removed. It’s his first start after a 2021 season that ended because of an arm injury. Alex Vesia gives up a hit in the eighth inning.

Note: On Aug. 23, 2017, Hill had a perfect game through eight innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Roberts sent Hill out for the ninth inning. An error by Logan Forsythe ended the perfect game, but Hill had a no-hitter at the end of nine. Unfortunately, the Dodgers hadn’t scored, so the game went into extra innings. The Dodgers didn’t score in the top of the 10th and Roberts left Hill in to pitch the bottom half. Josh Harrison led off the inning with a homer, ending the no-hitter and the game.

TV reminder

Tonight’s game against the Cleveland Guardians will air exclusively on Apple TV+. You can watch it for free by clicking here, but you will need to have an Apple ID to watch.

Book recommendation

Peter Golenbock, author of several books that are oral histories for teams, including the Dodgers, Mets and Orioles, has a new book out called “Whispers of the Gods: Tales from Baseball’s Golden Age, Told by the Men Who Played It” which is one of the few book titles that requires you to take a breath while saying it.

In the book, Golenbock has transcribed some of his best interviews over the years, and the result is fascinating. Among them is Roy Campanella, who tells some fascinating stories of his days with the Dodgers. Most of the subjects in the book have died, so you get a feeling of reaching beyond the start to hear these men speak. It is well worth your time if you are a baseball fan and would make a great gift for the fan in your life.

Obscure Dodger stat of the week

Who are the best and worst hitters in Dodger history? One way to look at it is to use OPS+, which takes a player’s contributions on offense and compares them to league norms. It makes it easier to compare players across different eras. For example, a player hitting .300 when the NL average is .280 will have a higher OPS+ than a player hitting .300 when the NL average is .240. A league average hitter will have an OPS+ of 100. An OPS+ of 110 means the hitters was 10% better than average. An OPS+ of 90 means 10% worse than average, etc.

Here’s the 15 best and worst Dodgers ranked by OPS+, minimum 1,000 plate appearances.

The best
Gary Sheffield, 160
Mike Piazza, 160
Jack Fournier, 157
Reggie Smith, 152
Pedro Guerrero, 149
Lefty O’Doul, 145
Babe Herman, 144
Hanley Ramirez, 144
Jim Wynn, 144
Dolph Camilli, 143
Augie Galan, 143
Duke Snider, 142
Jimmy Sheckard, 139
Tim Jordan, 139
Mookie Betts, 136

The worst (excluding pitchers)

Bill Bergen, 16
Alfredo Griffin, 57
Rube Walker, 59
Jimmy Jordan, 61
Otto Miller, 67
Leo Durocher, 67
Lew Ritter, 68
Cesar Izturis, 68
Johnny Hudson, 69
Ollie O’Mara, 69
Don Zimmer, 69
Mariano Duncan, 71
Ray Schmandt, 72
Johnny Butler, 73
Jeff Hamilton, 74

If you switch it to only L.A. Dodgers, the lists become,

Gary Sheffield, 160
Mike Piazza, 160
Reggie Smith, 152
Pedro Guerrero, 149
Hanley Ramirez, 144
Jim Wynn, 144
Duke Snider, 136
Mookie Betts, 136
Justin Turner, 132
Will Smith, 132
Corey Seager, 131
Max Muncy, 131
Shawn Green, 130
Kal Daniels, 129
Matt Kemp, 127

Alfredo Griffin, 57
Cesar Izturis, 68
Mariano Duncan, 71
Jeff Hamilton, 74
Dave Anderson, 77
Alex Cora, 77
Delino DeShields, 79
Greg Gagne, 83
Bill Russell, 83
Juan Pierre, 84
Steve Yeager, 84
Dave Roberts, 85
Dee Gordon, 86
Austin Barnes, 87
Jose Offerman, 87

Up next

Tonight: Cleveland (Zach Plesac, 2-4, 4.70 ERA) at Dodgers (*Clayton Kershaw, 4-1, 2.12 ERA), 7 p.m., Apple TV+, AM 570, KTNQ 1020

Saturday: Cleveland (Cal Quantrill, 4-3, 3.38 ERA) at Dodgers (*Julio Urías, 3-6, 2.80 ERA), 4:15 p.m., Fox, AM 570, KTNQ 1020

Sunday: Cleveland (Shane Bieber, 3-3, 3.01 ERA) at Dodgers (TBD), 1 p.m., SportsNet LA, AM 570, KTNQ 1020


Stories you might have missed

Want to go to the MLB All-Star game at Dodger Stadium? Tickets aren’t cheap

Hernández: Hail Dave Roberts for letting Tyler Anderson pursue no-hitter despite high pitch count

‘That was really scary’: Umpire hit in face with broken bat during Dodgers-Angels game

Plaschke: With Tony Gonsolin pitching like a top cat, Dodgers just might make it to October

Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler hopeful of returning this season

And finally

Vin Scully narrates the opening of World Series DVDs. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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