Dodgers 5, Mets 6: Waste of a Rewrite

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May 27, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urias (78) pitches during the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
May 27, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urias (78) pitches during the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Dodgers prized prospect failed to get out of the third inning, but the bats bailed him out so the bullpen could lose it.

I don’t remember this much excitement about a regular season game in a while. Corey Seager‘s debut didn’t seem nearly as hyped. Adrian Gonzalez‘s first game after the mega-trade perhaps?

Prized pitching prospect Julio Urias made his first major league start at the age of 19. Urias was absolutely dominant in AAA and was at the top of every prospect list. Let me repeat. HE IS 19.

Urias pitched like a 19 year old making his major league debut. He struck out the first batter of his career (Curtis Granderson, future trivia answer), but Asdrubal Cabrera drilled a one-out double to left. He struck out David Wright and walked Yoenis Cespedes, which is a gameplan I’m not really against. However, he was welcomed to the Dodgers by getting BABIP’d to death, giving up a double on a pitch on the hands and two weakly-hit singles that squeaked through the infield. Urias allowed three earned runs and four hits in his first inning, needing 36 pitches to get out of it.

Obviously not ideal, and it was clear the kid was nervous. Hell, I was nervous and I was sitting on my medicine ball eating buffalo wings watching the game. Even in Spring Training, when Urias missed his location, he had the tendency to miss high. That was the case today, as a lot of his pitches were elevated and he threw a pitch that would have ended the lives of a few people in the third row behind the plate if it wasn’t for the screen

Urias settled down a bit in the second, as he allowed a walk but nothing else. He reached base for the first time in his career in the third inning, as he tried to lay down a bunt with runners on the corners and Jacob deGrom couldn’t field it cleanly. It loaded the bases for Citi Field fan favorite Chase Utley, who hit a sac fly to give the Dodgers their first run. Seager followed that up by hitting back to the box for a double play.

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Urias came out for the third inning, but couldn’t get out of the frame. He got two quick outs before allowing a single to Juan Lagares. Urias then got to a full count to Kevin Plawecki and Eric Campbell, but he walked both of them. When all was said and done, Urias only lasted 2.2 innings, but threw 81 pitches. He had seven three-ball counts and finished with three walks, three strikeouts, five hits and three runs allowed. Of those 81 pitches, only 42 were called strikes and he was definitely fighting it his whole outing.

Overall, there was a lot to be excited about. The results weren’t there for the kid, but he showed some absolutely filthy offspeed offerings and arguably got squeezed at times. You won’t get favors from the umpires when you haven’t shown good control, which Urias did not. It wasn’t the storybook start to his career that so many of us wanted, but it’s something he’ll get past. His immediate future on the major league team is uncertain (I’d bet on him going back down before making another start), but he’ll probably be back up again this season and he figures heavily into the Dodgers long term plans.

The rest of the game also didn’t go too well until it did. The Dodgers were down 3-1 after three, and Chris Hatcher and Joe Blanton each gave up solo homers to make it 5-1. The Dodgers had their chances against deGrom, but stranded runners in the third, fourth and fifth innings. A certain writer had 800 words ready to post the second the game ended, but then the game got extended.

The Mets sent their great closer Jeurys Familia to the hill to close out the game with a four run lead. Familia had allowed five runs all season, so all the Dodgers had to do was almost double his earned run total for the season. AND THEY DID THAT.

Back to back singles started the inning, and Yasiel Puig knocked a one-out single to load the bases. Familia then walked Yasmani Grandal to bring in a run, but struck out pinch hitter Trayce Thompson. Which of course, brought up Utley. The boo-birds were out for Utley all game, and they might not have been louder than they were before he knocked a bases-clearing triple to tie the game. The Dodgers’ bullpen had given up two solo homers in their first five innings, so obviously Pedro Baez allowed a homer to the first batter he faced to end the game in the bottom of the inning.

It could have been a magical start to the road trip, with the phenom throwing six shutout innings and the Dodgers getting their bats going against the Mets. Instead, it looked like an awesome come-from-behind victory with the bats waking up against an elite closer. Then, it just sucked. This was an underwhelming beginning to a road trip that could end up with the Dodgers far out of the race. It’s scary to think about, but seven games in New York and Chicago while the Giants play in Colorado and Atlanta is not a great combination. I’m the farthest thing from a pessimist, but it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where the Dodgers are seven back or more by the time next weekend rolls around. The Giants won’t stay as hot as they’ve been and the Dodgers wont stay cold, but “it’s only June” doesn’t have the same calmness as “it’s only May”.

Next: In Support of Yasiel Puig

The Dodgers look to bounce back tomorrow with Kenta Maeda taking on Noah Syndergaard. The game will be on Fox and not be blacked out in LA.

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