Dodgers show they have depth in addition to stars

With all the former MVPs on their roster, it feels almost unfair when the Los Angeles Dodgers get major contributions from less heralded players.

Imagine how the rest of the National League must feel watching Tony Gonsolin and Tyler Anderson so far this season.

On back-to-back days, those two threw six innings apiece of scoreless ball as the Dodgers took the first two games of a four-game showdown with the Mets. New York bounced back over the weekend and earned a split of the series as both teams showed why they have the NL’s top two records.

The Dodgers added 2020 NL MVP Freddie Freeman to a team that already included 2019 MVP Cody Bellinger, 2014 MVP Clayton Kershaw and 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts. And Trea Turner, acquired last year from Washington, had a 26-game hitting streak that wasn’t snapped until Saturday.

But with Kershaw working his way back from an injury, the Dodgers have needed Gonsolin and Anderson to be sharp. Gonsolin is 6-0 with a 1.59 ERA, and Anderson is 7-0 with a 2.59 ERA.

Anderson’s performance has been particularly remarkable. The 32-year-old left-hander is a former first-round draft pick, but he hasn’t had an ERA under 4.00 since his debut season in 2016.

The Dodgers have shown off their depth on the hitting side as well. Infielder Edwin Rios, who had 13 career homers coming into this season, has seven in 92 plate appearances this year.

NEW VOICES

Philadelphia is 3-0 since interim manager Rob Thomson took over following Joe Girardi’s firing. The Phillies still have plenty of time to play their way into contention, and managerial changes have worked out well for some other teams this season.

Bob Melvin went from Oakland to San Diego to take over the Padres before the season, and they are just a couple games behind the Dodgers in the NL West despite the absence of injured shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. Buck Showalter is off to an even better start in his first year with the Mets.

In the NL Central, St. Louis is just a half-game out of first place after replacing Mike Shildt with Oliver Marmol following last season.

TAKING ADVANTAGE

The defending champion Braves started slowly this year, but they’ve now won five in a row after sweeping a last-place Colorado team. They’re still 8 1/2 games behind the Mets in the NL East, but up next for Atlanta is a two-game series against another last-place team — Oakland.

Then the Braves have series with Pittsburgh and Washington, the two teams with the worst run differentials in the NL.

TRIVIA TIME

Gonsolin doesn’t have enough innings to qualify for the ERA lead at the moment, but three different Dodgers pitchers have won the National League ERA title since 2015. Who are they?

LINE OF THE WEEK

Washington’s Lane Thomas hit three home runs in an 8-5 victory over Cincinnati on Friday night. The 26-year-old outfielder had just 15 homers in his career prior to that.

COMEBACK OF THE WEEK

Down by three runs with one out in the top of the ninth Sunday, Seattle’s win probability was down to 1.3%, according to Baseball Savant. Then Ty France hit a solo homer, Julio Rodriguez and J.P. Crawford singled, and Eugenio Suarez drove them both home with a double to tie the Mariners’ game at Texas.

The Mariners went on to win 6-5 in 10 innings.

TRIVIA ANSWER

Zack Greinke (2015), Clayton Kershaw (2017) and Hyun Jin Ryu (2019).

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Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister

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