Julio Urias has struggled in the first inning of most, if not all his starts for the Los Angeles Dodgers this season. He’s posted a 9.00 ERA in 10 games compared to a 1.85 ERA in the rest of his innings (39 total).
That includes his outing against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night when Urias gave up a pair of runs in the first inning before settling in and retiring 13 straight. Overall in 5.2 innings, he gave up three hits and two runs, all in the first inning.
“I continue working on that,” Urias said after the Dodgers’ comeback win at Coors Field. “I work with Mark and the rest of the coaches. They’ve really helped, and I’m just trying to make the adjustment for the first inning.
“Sometimes it’s just the circumstances of the game, but you can’t let that beat you. You have to understand that inning has passed, continue working and hopefully get into the sixth or seventh inning. That’s the mentality. I’ll continue working.”
Although the opening frame was rocky, Urias keeping Colorado off the board the rest of the way allowed the Dodgers to remain in the game. “Just remaining focused. I knew there was a lot of bad pitches and it was a bad first inning with a lot of pitches,” he said.
“I was able to stay focused and try to work as fast as possible in the later innings.”
There’s no doubt that Urias possesses a ton of talent, but if he is going to be a reliable arm for the Dodgers in the postseason, he will have to find a way to be solid from the first pitch to avoid putting the team in an early hole.
Overall in 49 innings across 10 starts this season, Urias has pitched to a 3.49 ERA and 1.20 WHIP with 40 strikeouts and 16 walks. With the recent announcement that there will be no days off in the middle of postseason series, Urias should be a member of the rotation in October.
How the Dodgers will order Urias, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin behind Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler remains to be seen.
Roberts gives credit to Urias for settling in
While it’s hard not to be concerned about Urias’ first-inning tendencies, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts gave him credit for settling in.
“It was great. That’s a credit to him and the adjustments he made,” Roberts said. “Talking to him on the bench afterward, it’s more of getting that mindset when it gets to the fifth and sixth inning, in the first inning.
“I think he started off slow, couldn’t get the ball out front, couldn’t spin the breaking ball. Once he kind of got loose and got adrenaline or whatever you want to call it, it was a lot more crisp. For him to rebound like he did, really good.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events and more!