Tony Gonsolin aims to win 10 major league first pitchers on Sunday night when the Los Angeles Dodgers will face the Atlanta Braves in a three-game series rubber contest.
The team split the first two games. The Dodgers saw four consecutive wins retreat 5-3 the next day after winning 4-1 on Friday.
Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said the playoff atmosphere surrounding the series enhanced the play of both teams.
"I mean these are fun games to participate in. They're in deep pain, but they're fun," he said. "There was a lot of emotion and energy there, and it seemed like everyone was staying (in the crowd) throughout the game."
Gonsolin (9-0, 1.58 ERA) , Against Atlanta's rookie Spencer Strider (3-2, 3.40) at the final regular season meeting between clubs.
Gonsolin defeated Cincinnati on Tuesday, allowing 3 hits and 2 runs in 5 innings. Right-handed will be 4-0 on June 4th, starting with an ERA of 1.16 in 23 1/3 innings.
"It's just throwing more strikes," Gonsolin said. “I feel like I was able to throw a more competitive pitch this year and get in touch early. This will increase efficiency and get deeper into the game.”
Gonsolin is 1-0 and ERA is 0.90 with two career starts with Atlanta. He defeated the Braves on April 20th, allowing one hit in six shutout innings.
He is opposed to the hard-throwing mustache-bearing Strider, who has made the worst start since joining the rotation. Strider abandoned the season's best six runs with six hits in 32/3 innings in the final against San Francisco. He instigated 11 with his previous start to Washington.
"There are days when I feel sick and have to go out and try to get ahead of the guy and still try pitching," Strider said. "I didn't have a good command and feeling, so there's no reason to train my muscles and try to throw hard. It's a matter of going ahead and doing it in two strikes."
Strider has not yet faced a career with the Dodgers.
Both shortstops are waving hot bats entering the finale.
Los Angeles Trea Turner played 2-4 on Saturday, scoring 12 hits in the last five games and averaging .320.
Atlanta's Dansby Swanson played a home run 2-4 on Saturday, raising the average to .307. He has deepened four times in the last four games.
Atlanta right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. left the game nine times for precautionary reasons. Acuña fouled the pitch first and Snicker didn't want to miss a chance. Snicker then said he would be treated before deciding whether Acuña would play.
"It really, really hurt," Snicker said. "We don't want him to get out of the box and hurt anything else, so we'll see where he is."
– Field-level media