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Urias to the Rescue? Finally?

October 14th, 2020 · No Comments · Baseball, Dodgers

If ever the Dodgers needed a strong performance from Julio Urias, tonight is the night.

As far back as 2016, when the Mexican left-hander made his Major League debut at the age of 19, Urias was on the periphery of “key Dodgers”. But a variety of setbacks retarded his advancement to that inner circle.

In 2017, despite careful handling by the Dodgers, he ruptured the anterior capsule in his left (throwing) shoulder and had surgery. He missed nearly the entirety of that season, as well as the 2018 campaign.

Last season, finally healthy, he was arrested for domestic battery. The case was dropped but MLB gave him a 20-game suspension, and he was 4-3 in 37 games, eight of them as a starter. His innings were again limited, and he shuttled between the starting five and the bullpen.

This season, he was again a bit outside the circle of dependable players. He went 3-0 in 10 starts, with an ERA of 3.27 in 55 innings, and his status went up a tick. Now, he has been good enough to expect something from him, and we have reached a point where he could demonstrate he is ready to deliver on his early promise.

Tonight he could make that final step into the category of “guy who matters”.

If the Dodgers are to make a comeback in the National League Championship Series, they need five or six innings of his best stuff in Game 3, with the Atlanta Braves holding a 2-0 games lead over the Dodgers.

Is he up to it? Did the Dodgers pick the right guy, when they signed him, at age 16, in 2012? Or when he was named the organization’s top minor-league pitcher, in 2014? Or when they waited for him to come back from his injury?

He did a nice job, back in the divisional series, when he turned in five innings of shutout relief. But that was against the San Diego Padres, who are not to be confused with the Atlanta Braves.

What the Dodgers need is for Urias to go through the Braves lineup twice, which means twice facing Ronald Acuna and Freddie Freeman, the bashers at the top of a dangerous Atlanta lineup.

There are signs that he may be ready to step forward. He has made two appearances in this postseason, throwing three scoreless innings against the Brewers and five against the Padres. That is eight innings with four hits allowed, and one walk against 11 strikeouts.

You could make a case he has been the most impressive Dodgers pitcher this fall.

Tonight, we find out if it is another flash in the pan, or whether the Julio Urias Era has begun.

This would be an excellent time to show he can be The Man.


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