Tony Gonsolin efficient as Dodgers clean resurgent Mets

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - JUNE 2, 2022. Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin delivers a pitch against the Mets in the first inning of Thursday night's game, June 2, 2022, at Dodgers Stadium. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Dodgers pitcher Tony Gonsolin delivers a pitch in opposition to the New York Mets within the first inning on Thursday at Dodger Stadium. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

When he purchased the New York Mets two offseasons in the past, billionaire proprietor Steve Cohen cited the Dodgers as a company to emulate, desperate to mannequin his personal membership after the heavy-spending, consistently-winning, big-market behemoth on the alternative coast.

On Thursday, Cohen and the Mets obtained a first-hand instance of all of the the reason why.

In the opening sport of a extremely anticipated weekend sequence between the National League’s two finest groups to this point this season, the Dodgers flexed their organizational may to earn a 2-0 win at Dodger Stadium.

A stellar employees efficiency on the mound was highlighted by six scoreless innings from Tony Gonsolin, a homegrown expertise who was as soon as an afterthought within the group’s rotation however now leads the NL with a 1.59 ERA.

A high-priced, big-name lineup did simply sufficient on the plate, manufacturing one run within the fifth inning on a Mookie Betts RBI single and one other within the sixth inning on a Justin Turner RBI double whereas outhitting the Mets 8-3.

And whereas the 2 groups completed the evening tied atop the league standings, every 17 video games over .500 virtually two months into the season, the Dodgers made an early assertion in a matchup that would very properly outline this season’s pennant race.

“I think people have had this series marked on their calendar,” supervisor Dave Roberts mentioned.

The Dodgers tried to mood the significance of this week’s sequence previous to first pitch.

Roberts brushed apart any notion of this being a measuring stick or litmus take a look at sequence. First baseman Freddie Freeman mentioned the group was merely making an attempt to bounce again from a confounding three-game sweep by the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier this week.

“You just got to play good baseball,” Freeman mentioned. “Yes, the Mets are on the other side. They have good players. I think it’s just gonna be a great series.”

Still, whereas that is acquainted territory for the Dodgers, the Mets are treading comparatively new floor.

Off to their finest begin in additional than 30 years, they’ve ridden a resurgent offense and makeshift pitching employees to a double-digit sport lead within the NL East.

Even with out their finest two arms — Jacob deGrom has but to pitch this season due to a stress response in his proper scapula, and former Dodgers ace Max Scherzer has been sidelined the final couple weeks with an indirect pressure — they nonetheless ranked tenth within the majors in group ERA.

And a lineup that was as soon as an annual disappointment has turn into their most encouraging growth but, trailing solely the Dodgers in runs-per-game and on-base-plus-slugging proportion.

“They got guys that can run counts, that can be a pest at the plate,” Roberts mentioned. “They can manufacture, they can slug you.”

Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner hits an RBI double against the New York Mets.

Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner hits an RBI double in opposition to the New York Mets within the sixth inning on Thursday at Dodger Stadium. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The Mets’ close to $288 million payroll — which ranks second solely to the Dodgers, however is price much more bang for the buck contemplating Trevor Bauer’s empty wage — has additionally heightened expectations in Cohen’s first full yr proudly owning the group.

It was in Cohen’s first assembly with the media following his November 2020 buy that he referenced the Dodgers by identify, pointing to them when requested which MLB membership he wished to mannequin the Mets after.

“I like what the Dodgers are doing,” he mentioned. “They have a really strong farm system. They take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace for free agents and trades. They run a pretty good business operation too.”

When reminded of these feedback Thursday, Roberts slyly smiled.

“What do they say is the best term of flattery, imitation?” Roberts mentioned, including: “We’ve done a great job. So if there’s someone that you want to emulate — smart man.”

Once a division foe of the Mets whereas with the Atlanta Braves, Freeman had a entrance row seat to a lot of the membership’s current struggles, which have included 5 straight seasons with no playoff berth.

“They’ve always had a good team,” Freeman mentioned. “They’ve put it together this year.”

On Thursday, nevertheless, the Dodgers have been nonetheless superior.

Gonsolin gave up simply two hits and one stroll in his newest gem, persevering with to buoy a Dodgers rotation that would have extra reinforcements on the way in which, with Clayton Kershaw and Andrew Heaney each scheduled to go on rehab assignments this weekend.

Betts continued his torrid tempo on the plate, going two for 4 to boost his batting common to .310.

Even slumping nearer Craig Kimbrel obtained again on monitor, incomes his eleventh save after a two-day break.

“Collectively,” Roberts mentioned, “we did a really nice job.”

And then some, placing a gap blow in opposition to the group that, so far, seems to be their largest menace.

This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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