Heading into Tuesday’s matchup against the Pittsburgh Pirates, much of the conversation involving Yasmani Grandal focused on his production with the bat. Los Angeles Dodgers manager surmised Grandal was too aggressive in swinging at pitches out of the zone.
By the end of the night, Grandal was the recipient of plenty of praise. His two-run home run broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning. Behind the plate, Grandal was ushering Urias along in his bid for a no-hitter.
“The number one thing, Yasmani did a great job with Julio,” Roberts said. “He started off working behind hitters, and Yasmani got him back in the strike zone, got his changeup working and was really good.”
Urias lost the no-hitter on an Andrew McCutchen ground-rule double at the outset of the seventh inning. That the young left-hander reached the seventh without allowing a hit was a minor miracle.
“He did a really good job of battling. He literally didn’t have any secondary pitches,” Grandal explained. “I had an option of working with a fastball and hoping that when we called a secondary pitch, he’d make a good pitch or at least be around the zone.
“The fact that he was able to go 6.1 innings with a fastball and just showing his changeup, slider and curveball to get strikes here and there, tells you a lot about him.”
Like Roberts, Urias was sure to laud Grandal’s work. “I really have to thank Grandal,” the 20-year-old said through an interpreter.
“He deserves a lot of credit for this, because he kept calling pitches and I just kept listening to him. He deserves a lot of credit for the work he put in.”
While Grandal’s work with the pitching staff has remained consistent, his offensive output has fluctuated. The home run was his first since April 23. Prior to that, Grandal last homered on Opening Day, when he hit two against the San Diego Padres.
Much like last season, there isn’t any panic. “I think I’ve been seeing the ball well the whole year,” Grandal said.
“I’ve taken good at-bats, taken good swings, hit hard balls, soft balls, they just happened to fall [Tuesday]. I’ve felt great the whole year, so I’m going to continue sticking to my plan.”