A considerably dubious pitching plan that featured Dustin Might as an “opener” and left-hander Adam Kolarek as a one-inning specialist almost backfired on the Dodgers on Thursday night time when Kolarek gave up two runs, three hits and two walks and was unable to finish the second inning.
With the bases loaded, two out and dynamic San Diego slugger Fernando Tatis Jr., developing, supervisor Dave Roberts turned to Julio Urías, and the 24-year-old left-hander responded with a efficiency that would earn him a brand new nickname: “The Unbelievable Bulk.”
Urías, pitching in a “bulk” position, struck out Tatis on 4 pitches and went on to surrender one unearned run and one hit in 5 innings, hanging out six and strolling one to assist the Dodgers full a three-game sweep of the Nationwide League Division Collection with a 12-Three victory over the Padres in Globe Life Subject.
The final reduction pitcher to toss five-plus innings whereas giving up one or fewer hits in a postseason series-clinching win was Boston Crimson Sox ace Pedro Martinez in Recreation 5 of the 1999 AL Division Collection in opposition to Cleveland.
“That was only a gutty outing by Julio,” third baseman Justin Turner mentioned. “It does not shock us. He is a bulldog on the market. When he is on the mound, he competes pretty much as good as anybody, and for him to go on the market and shut down, primarily, a very good lineup the best way he did … he was excellent.
“He was commanding the fastball up within the zone, getting the breaking balls beneath and mixing in some good changeups. He does not scare off, and he does not shrink back from the large second.”
That was instantly obvious, as Urías threw a first-pitch 96-mph fastball that Tatis swung by means of for a strike. A second-pitch changeup at 88-mph induced one other swing-and-miss. Tatis fouled off a 96-mph fastball and swung by means of an 83-mph curve for strike three, as Urías preserved a 2-1 deficit.
“You may speak in regards to the play of the sport, it was the primary hitter he confronted,” Roberts mentioned of Urías. “Bases-loaded scenario, he punches Tatis … that would have been a special recreation, so proper there, that simply flipped the sport.”
The remainder of the night was just about a breeze for Urías, who retired 9 straight batters—three by strikeout—from the third by means of fifth innings earlier than operating into a bit of sixth-inning turbulence.
Manny Machado opened with a single to left-center discipline. Eric Hosmer adopted with a 108-mph line drive that left fielder A.J. Pollock misjudged, the ball nicking off his glove as he tried a leaping catch. The play was dominated an error, placing runners on second and third with no outs.
Urías balked, permitting Machado to attain to chop the Dodgers’ result in 8-Three and Hosmer to take third. However Urías struck out Tommy Pham with a 95-mph fastball, obtained Jurickson Profar to pop to first and Wil Myers to fly to heart.
Urías struck out Jake Cronenworth and obtained Austin Nola to fly to proper to open the seventh earlier than strolling Trent Grisham, bringing Roberts to the mound for the ball and a congratulatory slap on the again, Urías heading to the dugout along with his third profession playoff victory.
“It was an unbelievable job by him,” mentioned catcher Will Smith, who had 5 hits and three RBIs. “Simply coming in and going proper at them, not being scared. That’s what he did. He stored us within the ballgame. It might have gotten away from us a bit of bit, however he actually slammed the door on them and let the offense take over and put some runs again up.”
Urías, working completely from the stretch, wanted solely 68 pitches—46 of them strikes—to document 15 outs. He induced 9 swings-and-misses, 4 every on his mid-90s fastball and low-80s curve. He generated a number of smooth contact. Of 11 pitches the Padres put in play, solely two had an exit velocity greater than 88 mph.
Urías mentioned he was instructed that he can be pitching earlier than the sport, however he wasn’t positive he’d go so long as he did. Managers normally desire to make use of “bulk” pitchers to begin an inning, however Urías entered with little margin for error.
“He’s a very good hitter,” Urías, talking by means of an interpreter, mentioned of his showdown with Tatis. “We had plan in opposition to him. It was a matter of executing pitches and remaining targeted. Thank God every part labored out.”
Urías went 3-Zero with a 3.27 ERA in 11 video games, 10 of them begins, this season. A grueling NL Championship Collection schedule, which requires seven video games in opposition to the Atlanta Braves to be performed in seven days starting Monday, might require a extra conventional five-man rotation, so Urías will seemingly get a begin subsequent week.
However Urías was additionally precious in a reduction position within the 2018 postseason, which ended with a five-game World Collection loss to the Boston Crimson Sox, and he’s keen to pitch each time the Dodgers want him.
“I’m right here to do no matter they ask of me, and if that’s coming in for the primary inning, the fourth inning, the fifth or sixth inning, it’s one thing I’m going to do,” Urías mentioned. “I’m going to assault and give attention to each pitch, which is my mentality this complete season. Whether or not it’s coming in to get one out, as a starter or reliever, you’ll all the time get 100% from me.”
This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Times.