The Dodgers walked off thanks to a hitter that had been struggling to start the season.
Julio Urias got the start, which is something that may not happen much more moving forward. His next scheduled start is Wednesday, and at that time there’s a possibility that he gets shut down for a bit to keep his innings down. The Dodgers have expressed interest in having him available down the stretch, and for a 19-year-old that’s never tossed 88 innings in a season, keeping his innings low is vital.
Unfortunately, this becomes a lot harder to do, as Urias is really coming into his own on the mound. After two rough starts to begin his career, Urias allowed three earned runs in 9.1 innings in his next two against the Rockies and Giants. His finest start came today against the Brewers, as he got himself into a bit of trouble, but escaped wonderfully.
The Brewers got a runner to third base in each of the first three innings against Urias, and he needed 25 pitches to get out of the first. However, he did keep the Brewers off the scoreboard for five innings. He threw 85 pitches in five innings and allowed five hits and a walk, but struck eight batters out after having struck out seven in each of his previous two starts.
It was the best Urias looked, as his curveball and change up were each on point. Despite the eight strikeouts, he did have a bit of trouble putting guys away, which elevated his pitch count. By my count, the Brewers fouled 20 pitches off in his five innings, six of which came with two strikes. He tends to labor a bit with two strikes, which has been an issue in each of his starts. It’s nitpicking and it’s tough to be too critical of a 19-year-old starting pitcher, but it’s something he’ll have to clean up if he’s going to live up to the hype.
Justin Turner continued to sting the ball, as his first inning homer gave Urias a 1-0 lead to work with. Urias kept the lead and was pinch hit for in the fifth, which gave him the opportunity for the win.
Unfortunately, the bullpen coin landed on “bad” early on, as Louis Coleman gave up the lead two batters into the sixth after giving up back-to-back doubles to Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy. Chris Carter followed it with a weak single to put runners on the corners, and Coleman was pulled after a strikeout. Adam Liberatore came in for a lefty and gave up another RBI double, but Liberatore forced Carter out at the plate (thanks to a nice tag by Yasmani Grandal) and struck out Zach Davies to keep the Dodgers down one.
It looked like another one of those games, but Turner continued his hot streak by hitting a second home run in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game. After a shaky sixth inning, the bullpen was fine. They used five relievers, and while each of they allowed a baserunner, they kept the Brewers off the board long enough.
In the bottom of the tenth, Will Venable led off with a double for his first hit as a Dodger. A.J. Ellis pinch hit and got a clutch bunt down to move Venable to third. Milwaukee intentionally walked both Chase Utley and Corey Seager to get to Turner, who lined a single to end the game.
Obviously, the win is nice. Unfortunately the Rays lost to the Giants, so they still trail by six games. A win is a win, but man is this team concerning right now. The bullpen has been good, but starters not named Clayton Kershaw aren’t going deep into games and the offense is nowhere near where it needs to be. There’s still time to turn it around, but that needs to happen fast.