Dodgers 6 Brewers 5: First Win for Urias
By Alex Campos
The Dodgers held on to their lead, but might have lost their center fielder in the process.
The Dodgers got some bad news to begin their series in Milwaukee, as Clayton Kershaw will fly to Los Angeles to get tests on his sore back. That’s pretty much worst case scenario for this season, but the timing of it could be a lot worse. If Kershaw is forced to hit the disabled list (knock on wood), he would only miss two starts despite the Dodgers not having another off day until the all-star break. His two starts would be against the Rockies and Padres, and he’d be eligible to be activated off the DL on Monday, July 11th, right before the all-star festivities kick off.
Dodger twitter was a somber place before the game started, but Julio Urias gave us the gift of an exciting first inning. After the Dodgers went quietly in the first, Urias gave up a leadoff walk to Jonathan Villar. He picked Villar off, but it was overturned on review. So, Urias picked him off again. S/O to ESPN or Fox or whoever said he doesn’t have a good pickoff move. Urias has already picked off four batters in his seven starts. Last season, Julio Teheran led the MLB in pickoffs with five.
Adrian Gonzalez and Trayce Thompson led off the second with back to back singles, which is good considering the two of them were 0-for their last like 400 [check stat] before today. That put runners on the corners for Yasmani Grandal. Thompson stole second and while Villar was trying to apply the tag, the ball popped out of his glove and it allowed Gonzo to score and Thompson to go to third. Grandal capped off a long at bat with a weak grounder to short, but it was weak enough to score Thompson and put the Dodgers up 2-0.
The lead was short lived, as Urias gave it up in the third. He walked the leadoff hitter and issued a two-out walk before giving up a double to the wall to Ryan Braun. Urias looked good and had his pitch count at a manageable level, but walked four in the first three innings and got bitten by Braun.
The Dodgers immediately responded in the top of the fourth, as Corey Seager laced a triple to get his hitting streak to 11 games. Gonzalez cashed him in with a double. Thompson followed with a walk to put two on with no outs, but Grandal hit a hard grounder at the shortstop for the double play. Joc Pederson picked up a fourth Dodger run with an RBI single. Chris Taylor singled, and Urias got his first major league hit and RBI with a single up the middle.
The Dodgers added a sixth run in the sixth with a couple gifts from Milwaukee pitching. Howie Kendrick led off with a double and Chase Anderson walked Seager to end his night. Carlos Torres came in and hit Gonzalez on the foot to load the bases. After Thompson struck out, Grandal hit another weak grounder, but it was weak enough to avoid the double play and score a run. Pederson walked to re-load the bases, but Taylor grounded out to end the threat.
Urias finished six innings for the first time in his major league career and finished his outing with exactly 100 pitches. He gave up two doubles and walked six batters. He struck out six Brewers and really had them off balance. The walks were obviously bad, but he gave the Dodgers the exact type of start they needed. At this point, it’s tough to imagine Urias WON’T get another start in the majors, but his arm’s health is more important than another start or two.
The Dodgers ran into trouble in the eighth, which started with Pedro Baez giving up a single. He got Braun to hit a soft grounder to short, but Seager bobbled it before throwing well wide of first. Jonathan Lucroy drilled a double down the third base line to score the two runs, which chased Baez from the game. Baez hasn’t been good this year at all, but he didn’t get any help from Seager there. It could have been a double play, it should have at worst been one out and a runner on second, but instead Baez gave up two runs without recording an out.
Joe Blanton came in and gave up a deep fly ball to Chris Carter. Pederson made an incredible running catch at the wall for the first out, but hit the wall hard and left the game. He didn’t move his right arm on his walk from center to the clubhouse, so that’s obviously not ideal. Best case, he knocked the wind out of himself. Worst case, collarbone. To add insult to injury, Lucroy tagged up and scored from second.
Blanton walked a pair of batters to put the tying run at second with two outs. Hernan Perez was running on the pitch and it got past Grandal, so Perez tried to score. Grandal flipped home and Blanton got his glove in front of the plate. The play went to review, and the Dodgers narrowly escaped the eighth inning. They had a much easier time in the ninth, as Kenley Jansen got two strikeouts and a pop out to give the Dodgers the win.
Next: Brock Stewart to Start Wednesday
Despite scoring six runs, the Dodgers had 12 hits and left 11 men on base. It didn’t hurt them today (although it made the game more stressful), but that’s something that needs to be cleaned up. At time of publishing, there’s no prognosis on Pederson. Hopefully we’ll have good news in tomorrow’s preview. The Dodgers won their eighth game out of their last 11.