Giants @ Dodgers April 1, 2019: Julio Urías Makes First Start Since 2017

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

After last weekend’s wild series, the Dodgers are probably looking for some form of normalcy to start the week. They have played four baseball games this season, and all four have been some sort of weird. Some good weird, some bad weird. As a fan, a regular 3-1 win or something seems pretty appealing right now. However, normalcy might have to wait, with the rival Giants coming to the Ravine for three.

Giants
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
CF
Duggar
2B
Hernández
1B
Belt
3B
Turner
3B
Longoria
SS
Seager
C
Posey
CF
Pollock
SS
Crawford
1B
Freese
LF
Joe
RF
Bellinger
RF
Parra LF Taylor
2B
Panik
C
Barnes
P
Pomeranz (L)
P
Urías (L)

You might recognize Giants starter Drew Pomeranz from being on the Red Sox’ roster during the World Series. On the other hand, you might not recognize him from the World Series at all, because he fell so far away from Alex Cora‘s trust that he remained in the bullpen while Nate Eovaldi threw approximately one billion innings in game three. Indeed, Pomeranz has heavily declined from his relatively recent peak in San Diego, posting a 6.08 ERA in 74 innings for Boston last year. This will be his first start in a Giants uniform.

Pomeranz has lost a lot of velocity and developed a severe walk problem, which is not exactly what you want to see from somebody who makes Rich Hill‘s repertoire look varied. He did post a nice ERA in spring training, but he also walked seven batters in 16 innings, indicating that some of his demons from Boston may have followed him west. Still: an occasionally erratic soft-tossing Giants lefty pitching against the Dodgers? What could possibly go wrong?

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Opposing Pomeranz in tonight’s southpaw battle will be Julio Urias, who is making his first start since May 20th of 2017. Other Dodgers in that game included Franklin Gutierrez, Brett Eibner, and Sergio Romo (that team won over 100 games!). It has been a long time. Urías’ path back from shoulder surgery has been remarkable, and his spring showed immense promise, as Stacie detailed last week.

It will be interesting to see how the Dodgers manage Urías’ innings all year, but particularly tonight. The bullpen combined to throw 94 pitches in six innings of work yesterday, so extra length from Urias would be extremely helpful. However, one has to think that he will be on a very tight leash all year as a part of his recovery plan. Dave Roberts indicated pre-game that this outing might be on the shorter side, but perhaps not as short as one would have envisioned a week ago:

The Dodgers’ starting lineup is about what you’d expect against a left-handed pitcher, with Chris Taylor starting over Joc Pederson in left and David Freese starting at first over Max Muncy. Austin Barnes gets today’s start at catcher.

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Clayton Kershaw threw a bullpen session before today’s game. Evidently it went well:

That is obviously tremendously good news, especially with things seeming slightly thin on the pitching side of the staff to begin the season. Hill is also on his way back, and will pitch a bullpen session later this week. Savor these looks at Urías in the rotation while you can, because in a few weeks we might not be getting this type of chance to watch him so extensively for awhile.

About Daniel Brim

Daniel Brim
Daniel Brim grew up in the Los Angeles area but doesn't live there anymore. He still watches the Dodgers and writes about them sometimes.