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Kevin Gausman was back to his dominant self in win over Dodgers

Kevin Gausman Blue Jays
Photo credit:© John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Prasad
1 month ago
The Blue Jays pulled off a much-needed win on Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers as Kevin Gausman displayed avowed dominance in his afternoon outing.
The Blue Jays walked into game day with some frustration and sombreness as they aimed to complete the dreadful series against the Dodgers. Toronto battled to snap a five-game losing streak in the finale of the home-turf meeting with Los Angeles.
The fact of the matter is, there was nothing “Dodging” about the Dodgers in Toronto. Los Angeles put up a 16-spot in two games, versus the four-spot the Jays scraped the barrel for. Toronto’s offense is another battle in itself, but today’s focus was starting pitcher, right-hander Kevin Gausman.
Gausman started the season on a rough note. He started 0-3 in his first five starts. The win-loss record isn’t exactly a good or bad representation of his outings, but the earned-runs and runs-allowed section told the story. In his first three games in April, he gave up 13 runs in 10 innings, and 12 of those runs were earned. These three games saw 18 hits total with five walks. Gausman was not able to surpass five innings of work without field management having to go to the pen. Needless to say panic mode was on, and questions were flowing about the Jays ace arm.
Kevin Gausman answered back on Sunday against one of the most fiery lineups in the major leagues. Finally going past five innings of work and serving seven, his victorious line was more so a Gausman product. The righty only gave up five hits, throwing five innings of shutout baseball until the one earned run he let up came in the top of the sixth off the Canadian bat of Freddie Freeman for a solo shot. Gausman struck out five batters and didn’t allow any walks.
First and foremost, Gausman kept composure through his work around the explosive Dodger bats and a crowd of almost 40,000 fans. He painted the zone, stayed away from dangerous spots, and was informed of the reports on each hitter. The way he worked his matchups showed an educated approach and calculated pitch sequence.
His command was on-point and had impeccable pitch placement. Gausman threw 93 pitches with 68 strikes. 43 of the pitches thrown were out of the strike zone while batters swung at 47 of them. He pumped 19 of 26 first-pitch strikes with 21 called strikes, 21 in-play strikes, and eight swinging strikes. He forced six groundouts and 10 flyouts. The fastball was dominant and strategically placed, sitting 97 mph with extreme run. He worked it low in the zone and was emphasized by a solid job all game by catcher Alejandro Kirk. He and Gausman were synched perfectly all game.
Gausman’s splitter was also used effectively, with good downward action and a speed of around 85 mph—a healthy 9-10 mph difference from the heater. Gausman did miss locations a few times, the hitters didn’t fully capitalize, and the defence took over.
The key to his success on Sunday and in his previous outing was his command being on point, pitch sequence, and location. His usage against the Dodgers resulted in 58 fastballs, 31 splitters, three sliders and one sinker.

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