Dodgers News: Julio Urias Remaining Cool Heading Into NLDS Game 5
Julio Urias, 2021 NLDS
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Julio Urias became the only pitcher in baseball to reach 20 wins this season, and now he looks to continue living up to a reputation of being able to handle pressure-packed moments as the Los Angeles Dodgers face the San Francisco Giants in Game 5 of the National League Division Series.

The start is Urias’ second of the series and seventh overall this year against the Giants. That type of familiarity tends to favor hitters, though Urias intends to stick with what made him successful throughout 2021.

“I think we have a strategy going into the game, but we’re going to finalize that plan and go with what’s worked well for me, and that’s attacking hitters all season,” he said through a translator.

“And I think that’s something that I focused on and that’s something that I’m going to try to do. And it’s going to be one of those opportunities for me to go out there and do the things that I’ve been doing, but also try to strategize a plan the way we want to attack these guys.”

Urias made his MLB debut at just 19 years old and pitched in the postseason for the first time in 2016 as well. However, the left-hander made his mark in October last year by filling a swing role.

Now back to starting, he’s ready to seize an opportunity to pitch the Dodgers into the NL Championship Series. “I think in a game like that, the adrenaline kind of kicks in and takes over,” answered Urias when asked about potential nerves.

“You know, just not try to do too much, not try to do less of ourselves, just go out there and play the game. It’s just another game. Try to think about it as that, as another game, and just prepare and do the best we can when we get out there. … The message when I take the mound is to give everything I have of me, 100% of everything I can.

“I think that’s the focus and our energy across the locker room is to try to put the team in the best position to win, but also I know that we’re going to go out there and give it everything we have and that’s all we can do.”

The experience Urias gained pitching in multiple roles should come in handy as the Dodgers announced Corey Knebel will instead start Game 5, presumably as an opener.

Betts: Urias ‘underrated’

While Urias has been well-known within the Dodgers organization for several years, it wasn’t until last October and now again this year that he’s been recognized on the national stage.

“I think Julio has, for a long time now, been kind of underrated and now people just are giving him his credit,” Mookie Betts said after Game 2. “He’s always been really good. I think this year he just was really consistent. I think that’s been the difference.

“Obviously in the postseason he’s always been really good, but throughout the season he’s had his ups and downs, but this year he’s just stayed consistent, one of our best arms.”

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