The Los Angeles Dodgersdefeated the San Francisco Giants in the opener of a two-game series, led by Julio Urías turning in a strong start.
The southpaw threw six shutout innings while only giving up four hits, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts decided to remove him after just 65 pitches.
“I felt the stuff was good, but I thought they were taking some good swings off of him,” Roberts explained.
“There was some hard contact in there and I felt that part of the lineup again, give them a different look with bringing in Brusdar gave us a good chance to win and also keep Julio in line for his next start.”
While the Dodgers could have opted to let Urías continue into the seventh, Roberts also recognizes the 25-year-old has only thrown more than 80 innings once in his career, which came last season when he threw 185.2.
Roberts understands that his starter would like to pitch deeper into the games, but insists they are ultimately on the same page.
“I would expect nothing less, but I think I’ve built enough equity with Julio,” Roberts said. “Understanding the history, understanding he’s got a lot of great baseball ahead of him as well, so I really believe we’re in lockstep with how we’re using him. I really believe that.”
While they have yet to unleash him fully this season, partly due to the shortened Spring Training, Roberts reiterated the Dodgers view Urías as an elite starter and they expect him to pitch deeper into games later in the season.
“I do believe he is that guy, and we’re going to lean on him all summer. I just didn’t feel right now was the time,” Roberts said. “I still think really sort of appreciating the buildup in Spring Training, I don’t think all things are created equal as far as a typical year.
“I think we’ve still got to be mindful of the workload from the past year and continue to appreciate what we didn’t have as far as the buildup. You guys know me, I would rather err a little bit more on the cautious side than the aggressive side.”
As a competitor, Urías said he would’ve liked to continue pitching, but at the end of the day, he was understanding of the decision because he knows the end goal is to win the World Series, not throw a complete game in May.
“Just like I’ve always said, I always follow the plan,” Urías said. “Everything they expected of me, I gave it. That’s one of those things they wanted to do.”
Urías had everything working
Although Urías only finished with four strikeouts, he felt every pitch was working well for him, and that lent to have a strong performance against a tough lineup.
“I felt like everything was working really well from the first pitch of the game,” Urías said. “Started off with that breaking ball and it felt like every pitch I was using was working really well.”
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!