Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Tag: Julio Urias (Page 3 of 8)

Urías is something wild in crazy Dodger win

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

By Jon Weisman

In one sense, Julio Urías was all over the place, walking more batters tonight than in his previous five starts combined.

In another sense, that crazy brushwork simply provided color to another painterly performance by the teenage artist.

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In case you missed it: That post-Puig, post-sweep glow

Los Angeles Dodgers against the Washington Nationals

By Jon Weisman

Still feels like there’s a buzz in the air over how very #Puignotlate the ending was to Wednesday’s game. Let’s provide some epilogues to that, as well as catching up on some other recent Dodger ephemera.

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Los Angeles Dodgers against the Washington Nationals

  • Puig’s dash around the bases was 15.2 seconds, which is tied for the fastest home-to-home run in baseball this year, as seen in the video above.
  • What was going through Puig’s mind? “I was ready for the hit, and nobody thought that the ball would go through,” Puig said through an interpreter, according to Doug Padilla of ESPN.com. “So when I did see the ball go through, I had to talk to my hamstring so I can figure out how far I could go on the bases. … I didn’t see [the stop sign]. I was listening to my hamstring and I was trying to figure out how far it could go. If it exploded there, that’s what was going to happen, but I was able to make it home.”
  • The big finish called to mind 1988’s Kirk Gibson scoring from second base on a wild pitch, as Phil Gurnee writes at his new blog, Dodgers, Yesterday and Today.

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Weird, Wild Horse stuff: Puig’s Little League homer lifts Dodgers

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By Jon Weisman

So, you’re about to hit publish on a story that says the Dodgers’ eighth-inning magic has disappeared. And then, at the last moment, you look up — and in comes the magic, nearly past deadline but better late than never for Los Angeles.

With the Dodgers trailing by a run and two outs remaining, pinch-hitter Howie Kendrick reached first on a single. Yasiel Puig came up and lined a single to left field that — absolutely stunningly — went past Washington center fielder Michael Taylor, for a two-run Little League home run that gave the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over the Nationals.

Technically, it was a single plus a three-base error — plus that irresistible dash of Puig — that extended the Dodgers’ winning streak to six games.

It’s the fourth time the Dodgers have come from behind in the eighth inning or later during the streak. And it was the fourth completely bizarre play to take place at Dodger Stadium tonight.

Washington had taken the lead an inning earlier — but first, some context.

In the top of the eighth Tuesday, in pursuit of the Nationals’ third run of the game, catcher Wilson Ramos was thrown out at home by the Dodger left fielder.

In the top of the eighth inning tonight, in pursuit of the Nationals’ third run of the game, Ramos made it much easier on himself, launching a 421-foot homer over the Dodger left fielder and taking his time to circle the bases.

That shot broke a 2-2 tie that had lingered since the third inning and put the Dodgers in jeopardy, until Kendrick and Puig turned things around with the help of Taylor, whose night was a complete nightmare. In the top of the ninth, Taylor became the sixth player ever to earn a platinum sombrero against the Dodgers by striking out five times in a game.

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Julio Urías to start at least twice more this month

Milwaukee Brewers vs Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

As we noted four days ago, it seemed premature to pull the plug on Julio Urías after his Wednesday start against the Nationals, when his innings count for 2016 would still be at about 70 or less.

Sure enough, Dave Roberts volunteered today that Urías would take the mound again next week, during the Dodgers’ road trip to Pittsburgh and Milwaukee.

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What kind of a teammate is Julio Urías?

Brewers at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian González, 1B
Trayce Thompson, LF
Joc Pederson, CF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Will Venable, RF
Julio Urías, P

By Jon Weisman

For a couple hours every five days, Julio Urías takes the mound under the spotlight, standing alone on the mound.

For the remaining 118 hours of each cycle through the Dodger starting rotation, (for however long he’s in it this season), the teenage rookie is just another Dodger teammate, spending his days and nights with players who are anywhere from three to 18 years older.

“That’s where that confidence has to come through — and has,” Dave Roberts said.

So what’s he been like?

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Urías starts tonight, but for how much longer?

Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Francisco Giants

By Jon Weisman

Tonight’s starting pitcher, Julio Urías, has thrown 58 professional innings this season. Dave Roberts said Thursday that the plan was to give Urias two more starts, then evaluate.

Most interpreted this as Roberts saying that Urías would be shut down in the manner of Ross Stripling, who hasn’t pitched in a game since May. To be clear, though, that wasn’t stated explicitly by Roberts, who simply said, “we’ll go from there.”

Last year, Urías threw 80 1/3, and the year before, a career-high 87 2/3. Even in the unlikely event of two complete games, Urías would still be at 76 innings on the year. Two six-inning outings would put Urías at 70. Presumably, Urías can go incrementally above the 80-plus inning range that he has previously reached.

So the question would be whether it makes sense to use all those innings now, while the Dodgers wait for the return of Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Alex Wood from the disabled list (and longer down the road, Brett Anderson). Or do they have Urías take the break, and the ramp him up again in the second half of the season, when the rotation might be more crowded — not that there couldn’t be other setbacks.

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Urías steps up, but Dodgers step back

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By Jon Weisman

The growth of Julio Urías is so apparent, his progress so steady, that it almost makes the struggles of the Dodger offense not seem so agonizing.

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Julio Urias to start Sunday in San Francisco

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By Jon Weisman

Preferring the idea of having Julio Urias face San Francisco’s lineup over Arizona’s, the Dodgers have flipped him with Mike Bolsinger so that the teenage lefty pitches Sunday against the Giants, while Bolsinger will go Monday against the Diamondbacks.

Dave Roberts announced the switch Wednesday after the Dodgers’ 1-0 loss to Colorado, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Urias will be pitching on four days’ rest.

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Julio Urías logs four long innings, sets strikeout mark

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By Jon Weisman

Julio Urías remains in need of an efficiency expert, but that didn’t stop him from enjoying his most satisfying appearance as a Dodger to date — and setting a record to boot.

In his first appearance before his Los Angeles fans, Urías struck out seven — the most by a teenager in Los Angeles Dodger history — but used up 86 pitches by the fourth inning, leaving with a 3-1 lead over Colorado.

The Rockies bedeviled Urías by fouling off 19 pitches — 14 in his final two innings — and never surrendering a quick out. Urías faced 16 batters, and none saw fewer than four pitches in an at-bat.

But from the start, Urías countered his pitch-count difficulties with flashes of the brilliance that makes him so enticing.

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Dave Roberts discusses Justin Turner’s struggle

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Chicago Cubs

Braves at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian González, 1B
Joc Pederson, CF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Trayce Thompson, RF
Carl Crawford, LF
Kenta Maeda, P

By Jon Weisman

Justin Turner has again slumped, going 3 for 24 in his past eight games with a double and three walks.

Turner’s batting average has dropped to .225, but Dave Roberts has not dropped him in the Dodger batting order for two reasons: He believes Turner will come out of it, and because even now, his on-base percentage is still .327, roughly identical to those of Trayce Thompson (.333) and Corey Seager (.331).

Nevertheless, Roberts does have a theory about why Turner is struggling.

“When I know Justin is at his best, (it’s) when he’s elevating to the pull side,” Roberts said. “For me, right now there’s too many balls in the air the other way. The contact point’s a little deep, (and) he might be getting underneath the baseball a little bit.

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Defeat — but also progress — for Julio Urias

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By Jon Weisman

Julio Urias pitched longer. He pitched more efficiently.

Early on, he was victimized by three soft hits, a debatable ball four and an error.

And then he gave up two home runs.

And then he gave up a home run.

Urias’ five innings against the National League-leading Chicago Cubs today, in what became a 7-2 loss by the Dodgers, probably weren’t something to cut out for the scrapbook. Six runs (five earned) on eight hits and a walk rarely are.

But they absolutely looked like a step forward from his 2 2/3 innings at New York in his MLB debut six days ago, and offered a more concrete vision of the potential the 19-year-old presents.

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Urias throwing against Cubs, not being thrown to wolves

Al Bello/Getty Images

Al Bello/Getty Images

Dodgers at Cubs, 11:20 a.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Joc Pederson, CF
Trayce Thompson, RF
Carl Crawford, LF
A.J. Ellis, C
Julio Urias, P

By Jon Weisman

Without a doubt, there was some surprise — I even shared it — that Julio Urias’ second start would come on the road today against the National League’s current top team, the Chicago Cubs, rather than Friday in Los Angeles against the National League’s current bottom team, the Atlanta Braves.

But some things to keep in mind:

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Julio Urias to start Thursday vs. Cubs, wearing No. 7

Los Angeles Dodgers vs New York Mets

Dodgers at Cubs, 5:05 p.m.
Kiké Hernandez, 2B
Justin Turner, 3B
Corey Seager, SS
Howie Kendrick, 1B
Trayce Thompson, RF
Joc Pederson, CF
A.J. Ellis, C
Carl Crawford, LF
Mike Bolsinger, P

By Jon Weisman

Julio Urias will start Thursday’s 11:20 a.m. at Chicago for the Dodgers, with Kenta Maeda opening the Dodgers’ next homestand Friday against the Braves, followed Saturday by Clayton Kershaw.

Urias will be on five days’ rest when he takes the mound for his second career MLB outing. In doing so, he gives Maeda an extra day to recover from the line drive that went off his hand Saturday at New York.

Kershaw will be pitching on five days’ rest himself. With that amount of rest this year, Kershaw has a 1.63 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP with two walks and 43 strikeouts, averaging 7.7 innings per start.

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Urias will switch from No. 78 to No. 7, making him the first true Dodger pitcher to wear a single-digit uniform number since Bobo Newsom in 1943.

(Technically, there have been other single-digit pitchers since then. Skip Schumaker, I was reminded by Dodger public relations manager Jon Chapper, pitched for the Dodgers while wearing No. 3, and team historian Mark Langill mentioned Mickey Hatcher, who wore No. 9 when he took the mound for the Dodgers in 1989.)

Urias is following in the footsteps of Kershaw, who switched from No. 54 to No. 22 after his first MLB start.

Wood headed to disabled list, Urias returning to Majors

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Alex Wood, whose most recent start was delayed three days because of left triceps soreness, is now going on the 15-day disabled list with left posterior elbow soreness, and 19-year-old Julio Urias is returning to the Dodgers.

Pending any shuffling of the Dodgers’ rotation, Urias would be scheduled to pitch Saturday in Los Angeles against the Braves.

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Julio Urias returning to Triple-A

Los Angeles Dodgers vs New York Mets

Dodgers at Mets, 4:15 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Trayce Thompson, RF
Joc Pederson, CF
Howie Kendrick, LF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Kenta Maeda, P

By Jon Weisman

Julio Urias said he had the best day of his life when he made his Major League debut Friday. His next big-league appearance won’t come right away, however, because the Dodgers have decided to option him back to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Right-handed reliever Casey Fien will take Urias’ spot on the 25-man roster, as well as the 40-man roster spot of minor-league outfielder James Ramsey, who has been designated for assignment.

Urias was forthcoming in his postgame comments following his 81-pitch, 2 2/3-inning start in New York, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, including the admission that he was nervous.

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