Dodgers @ Rockies April 4, 2021: Urias vs. Gomber

The Dodgers (2-1), managed to comeback from an early deficit last night and ultimately hold off the Rockies (1-2) for their second win of the season. Julio Urias will take the mound as the team looks to start the season with a series win against likely the weakest team in the division. The left-handed Austin Gomber will make his debut for the Rockies. He was the only major league player the Rockies received in the Nolan Arenado trade, so no pressure there.

This series has now featured a five out save from Kenley Jansen, a cat loose on the field, Zach McKinstry hitting an inside the park home run, and Cody Bellinger hitting a home run that cleared the left field wall but was actually a single because dumb rules. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for today. It’s just good to get out of this place with no injuries.

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12:10 P.M. Denver
RF Betts LF Owings
LF Pollock 3B Fuentes
3B Turner SS Story
C Smith RF Blackmon (L)
1B Muncy (L) 1B Cron
CF Taylor C Díaz
SS Lux (L) 2B McMahon (L)
2B McKinstry (L) CF Hampson
P Urías (L) P Gomber (L)

Just as Dave Roberts said, Corey Seager and Bellinger have the day off today as Justin Turner and Mookie Betts are back in the lineup. With seven consecutive games and a quick turnaround from last night, it makes sense to rest Seager and Bellinger. Chris Taylor replaces Bellinger in center field, which means that Gavin Lux will start at short stop for the first time in his major league career. He’s looked pretty comfortable at second base this spring and over the first few games of the season (except for his wide throw last night which would’ve been an inning ending double play that instead resulted in a two run homer). McKinstry has looked comfortable at the plate thus far, hitting the Dodgers first home run of the season last night. Granted it was an inside the park homer, but Raimel Tapia made an incredible play just to keep the ball in the park. Unfortunately it seems Tapia was injured enough on that play that he’s out of the lineup today and Chris Owings will start in his place. Elias Diaz will start at catcher over Dom Nunez.

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Here’s how the two pitchers matchup.

Urias had a solid season across the board in 2020, solidifying his role as a starter in the regular season rotation. He stepped his game up in the postseason, where he made only two starts but made a total of six appearances with four multi-inning outings from the bullpen. He had a 1.17 ERA in 23 innings during the postseason run, with a 34.5% strikeout rate and a 0.65 WHIP. He’s coming off of a strong Spring Training where he had a 1.69 ERA over five short starts. The 24 year-old lefty seems to be fully coming into his own as an MLB starter so he’ll look to get a good start to his season in Coors Field.

Gomber is a 27 year-old left handed pitcher making his debut for the Rockies. He was acquired in the trade that sent Nolan Arenado to St. Louis. Gomber made only four starts last season, while appearing out of the bullpen an additional ten times. It appears that Colorado intends to use him as a starter, where he allowed just one run in those four starts over 15.2 innings. The .243 BABIP he allowed was considerably low, but nothing impossible to recreate if he were pitching anywhere outside of Coors Field. He spent 2019 back in the minor leagues after a mediocre rookie season in 2018 where he featured a 4.44 ERA over 75.0 innings. He sits 92-94 with his fastball, mixing in a slider and a curveball for his off speed pitches.

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Everyone being healthy lasted three days! Amazing. Hopefully it’s no big deal for Tony Gonsolin, and this is an issue that the team is completely able to handle with the depth on the roster. The earliest Gonsolin could return would be in a week, April 11.

Dennis Santana struggled in his limited appearances in 2020, posting a 5.29 ERA in 17 innings out of the bullpen. He looked solid this spring, and at one point looked like he could be a mid-rotation piece. He’s still just 24, so hopefully he continues to get a chance with the team.

If McKinstry continues to impress and show infield and outfield versatility, and with Taylor being an impending free agent, well. That’ll be something to look at in the future.

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First pitch is at 12:10 PM PT on SNLA.

About Allan Yamashige

Just a guy living in Southern California, having a good time writing about baseball. Hated baseball practice as a kid, but writing about it rules. Thanks for reading!