Cubs 7, Dodgers 2: Urias good, then bad; offense bad, then bad

Things started off relatively well for Julio Urias and the Dodgers, but he and the offense faltered in Thursday’s 7-2 loss in Chicago at the hand of baseball’s best team.

Urias actually lasted five innings today. That’s good! What isn’t good is the fact he gave up eight hits, six runs (five earned) and three home runs.

It wasn’t all bad for Urias. He showed improved control by allowing just one walk and striking out four. His command wasn’t spot-on, but it was much better than his first start, as he made 79 pitches, 57 of which were strikes. Here’s the breakdown from Brooks Baseball.

Urias second start

The good here: 10 percent swinging strikes, less reliance on the fastball (70.4% vs. 57%), maintained great average velocity (94 MPH), mixed in all his off-speed stuff rather equally to see what worked.

He also got BABIP’d early on.

As a result, the Cubs led 2-0 after the second inning. This is the very definition of baseball, but it sucks to happen to a kid in just his second start.

But then the wheels began to come off in the fourth inning. He allowed a home run to Javier Baez (105 MPH, 413 feet, 25 degree launch angle) to go down 4-0. Then, the fifth inning happened. Jason Heyward hit a laser homer (98 MPH, 384 feet, 22 degrees) to right field to put the Cubs up 5-0. But what Kris Bryant did next to the baseball (110 MPH, 436 feet, 36 degrees) should illegal in all 50 states.

Yep. He’s good at hitting the baseball far.

This is something that might be an issue early in Urias’ career because of the way he was coddled (to use my word) in the minors.

It’s harder to pitch in the majors than Triple-A, obviously, but 10 PAs the third time through in eight games is ridiculous. It might have been good to get him some work on that in Triple-A … or even Double-A. It’s a novel concept, I know.

And this seems like an overreaction, considering the state of the Dodgers’ starting pitching.

But it wasn’t all on Urias. The offense was poor once again. Aside from a Trayce Thompson home run (98 MPH, 375 feet, 32 degrees) and a Corey Seager sacrifice fly (which barely counts), the Dodgers couldn’t muster anything else.

This is going to be a problem going forward. I know the Cubs are great, but the inconsistent offense isn’t going to fly the entire season. The pitching staff can only do so much.

Other notes include …

  • Chris Hatcher striking out five and walking one over his two innings.
  • Yasiel Puig pinch-hit and struck out
  • Joc Pederson tried to bunt against the shift on an 0-2 count and struck out (siiiiigh)
  • J.P. Howell allowed a homer to Anthony Rizzo (105 MPH, 405 feet, 25 degrees) on his only batter faced.
  • That’s it, I guess

The Dodgers fall to 28-27 on the season and are more than 4 1/2 games back of the Giants (5 1/2) for the first time since May 21. The Cubs improve to an MLB-best 37-15 (dayum). The Dodgers return home to host the Braves on Friday night. Kenta Maeda (4-3, 3.00 ERA), on an extra day of rest, takes on Julio Teheran (1-5, 2.77). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Pacific time.

About Dustin Nosler

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Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.