Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin, a first-time All-Star with a 2.12 ERA and a 15-1 record, was on “Power Alley” on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio last week, and he was asked how the Dodgers have continued to win at a historic pace and avoid the prolonged slumps so many other good teams have gone through.
Gonsolin didn’t mention the slew of All-Stars, superstars, and former and future MVPs up and down the lineup. He mentioned what can probably be summed up in one word, although he didn’t use the word: chemistry.
“I think we do a really good job of keeping it loose and having fun while we play. It’s pretty easy to see how much fun we have when you look at the dugout. You know, we hit homers, and Hanser [Alberto] and Mookie [Betts] are dancing in the dugout, Freddie [Freeman]’s in there having fun, Trea [Turner]’s having fun, [Max] Muncy’s having fun. It’s an awesome group of guys, and I think that’s something that helps us not really think about what we’re doing, just trying to go out there and win every pitch and win every ballgame.”
“Team chemistry” is something that’s hard to identify and even harder to define. Often, chemistry is the result of winning, rather than the cause of it, and teams that seem to have great chemistry when they’re doing well end up bickering and fracturing when performance takes a dip.
But with a team as talented as the Dodgers, that ability to keep it loose and keep the focus in the moment rather than on the past or the future seems really important, and it’s tell that it’s that looseness, rather than Freeman and Trea battling for the league lead in hits or Mookie’s 27 homers or Muncy’s resurgence or the MLB-best team ERA, that comes immediately to Gonsolin’s mind when he’s asked for the key to their success.
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