Giants @ Dodgers July 26, 2020: Julio Urías is finally a full-time starter

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The baserunning doomed the Dodgers in their 5-4 loss to the Giants Saturday afternoon. Now the Dodgers look to convert more of those baserunners into runs and secure their first series win of 2020 on Sunday evening against the Giants at Dodger Stadium.

Giants
Dodgers
7:08 p.m.
Los Angeles
LF
Yastrzemski
RF
Betts
2B
Flores
1B
Muncy
1B
Ruf
3B
Turner
DH
Pence
CF
Bellinger
3B
Solano
LF
Taylor
C
Heineman
SS
Seager
RF
Davis
2B
Hernandez
SS
Crawford DH Pollock
CF
Dubón
C
Smith
P
Smyly (L)
P
Urías (L)

Julio Urias takes the mound in his season debut. It’s the left-hander’s time to shine. A spot opened in the Dodgers rotation after they parted ways with Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda and Hyun Jin Ryu in the offseason.

There’s more pressure for 23-year-old Urías to pitch well this season with news of David Price‘s choice to opt-out of the season coming before Opening Day. Then there was the unexpected early-season injury to Clayton Kershaw. Alex Wood‘s rocky start on Saturday wasn’t a great step toward a permanent starting role either.

Last year Urías pitched just under 80 innings. He made eight starts and pitched out of the bullpen. The southpaw struck out 85 batters in that span with a 2.49 ERA, 3.43 FIP and 9.6 K/9.

This season will be the first time Urías opens the season with the Dodgers as a full-time starter. The shortened 60-game season allows Urías to pitch full-time while keeping his innings down. The Dodgers used him in different roles to limit his innings after shoulder surgery, but now we finally get to see him pitch without restrictions.

Urías told Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times that he’s ready to take on the full-time starting role.

“If they give me the opportunity, it could be an important season for my career,” Urías said. “I’m prepared for this. This is what I’ve wanted.”

——

San Francisco counters with left-hander Drew Smyly in his first career start for the Giants. The Giants signed him in the offseason for $4 million.

Last year Smyly spent time with Philadelphia and Texas. His 6.24 ERA wasn’t great, although he struck out 9.5 batters per frame in 114 combined innings. His 4.3 BB/9 was surely a concern as well.

Smyly pitched one inning out of the bullpen on Thursday. I don’t see him going long for this game against this Dodgers’ lineup, but don’t get mad at me when they get shut out.

——

Mookie Betts leads off for the Dodgers in tonight’s lineup. AJ Pollock will DH.

Betts has yet to collect his first extra-base hit as a Dodger. Cody Bellinger has two hits in 13 at-bats. Justin Turner, Enrique Hernandez and Corey Seager each have five hits in the series. Max Muncy and Chris Taylor have four hits each.

——

It’s a happy ending after all. The guy who Will Smith decapitated yesterday is getting hooked up.

A series win against the Giants is always a nice way to open a season, shortened or not.

About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler
Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the co-editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.