Julio Urías turned in another gem for the Los Angeles Dodgers despite sloppy defense in the first inning that made his outing start on the wrong foot.
It began when Thairo Estrada singled on a soft infield dribbler that Max Muncy was unable to field to start off the inning. Urías followed by getting a strikeout and a ground ball, but Trea Turner had the grounder pop out of his glove while trying to start a double play, which allowed Wilmer Flores to reach safely and advanced Estrada to second.
With another chance to turn a double play, Turner successfully got the ball to Gavin Lux at second base — albeit with an awkward throw — and the turn wasn’t completed as Freddie Freeman was unable to pick the one-hopper. The sequences allowed a run to score instead of ending the inning.
Urías then got Evan Longoria to pop out to end the first and limit the damage to one unearned run. Following the defensive miscues, Urías explained tried to support Turner and Lux with encouragement, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“I just tried to put positive energy out there, try to pick them up, try to talk to them. Obviously, nobody wants to make mistakes or fail, but it’s part of the game. I just wanted to encourage them to make the next play for me and do the best they can.”
The left-hander went on to pitch six innings while giving up just two runs (one earned). Flores had the Giants’ lone earned run off Urías with a solo homer in the third inning.
He added eight strikeouts to only one walk and lowered his National League-leading ERA to 2.27. Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcántara, who is currently considered the Cy Young Award frontrunner, is second with a 2.43 ERA.
Dave Roberts: Julio Urías deserves Cy Young consideration
Urías is also near the top of the leaderboards with 17 wins and a .197 opponents’ batting average (second), along with a 0.95 WHIP (third).
“He should be right there,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently said of Urías belonging in the NL Cy Young Award race.
“Last year, I thought he was slighted as far as not being part of the conversation. This year, he’s back with another really good year. With all the numbers guys look at, with what he’s done this season, it’s worthy of the conversation. No doubt about it.”
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