Giants 4, Dodgers 2: Julio Urias’ season debut spoiled by bullpen collapse

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The Dodgers met the Giants for the first time in the 2019 season. After scoring 42 runs against the Diamondbacks and the Giants scoring just five against the Padres, the result of this one was predetermined … right? Well, the Giants won by a 4-2 score because baseball is simply the worst.

But despite the loss, this night was really all about Julio Urias. He made his first start in almost two years, and he was sensational. He was in command of all his pitches, and his final line showed that: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 77 pitches, 51 strikes strikes, 4/1 GO/AO. His fastball maxed out at 96.8 MPH and averaged 95 on the night. He induced 14 swinging strikes in those 77 pitches — five on his fastball, five on his slider and four on his changeup. Here’s his first strikeout of the 2019 season.

A left-on-left changeup? Sign me all the way up for that. And his slider wasn’t half-bad, either.

And, of course, the 97 MPH heat.

I think this kid is gonna be just fine.

Dave Roberts envisioned Urias getting to 75-85 pitches, and he did just that. It’s a shame he’ll be going back to the bullpen when Clayton Kershaw and/or Rich Hill return. Still, Urias could be quite the weapon out there.

The game was scoreless until the fifth inning. Giants’ starter Drew Pomeranz was doing his best to match Urias. Then, Chris Taylor got to him.

That was, as they say, a no-doubter. After an Austin Barnes ground out, another Dodger came up with a no-doubter. This time, it was Alex Verdugo, pinch-hitting for Urias.

Joe Kelly relieved Urias and promptly gave up a solo home run to Brandon Belt, because that’s apparently what he does now. Look, it’s too early to get that upset about Kelly, but with the history (2013 NLCS, 2018 World Series), fans are going to be less patient with the Dodgers’ second-biggest free agent signing from the winter.

Of course, allowing the Giants to tie the game in the seventh inning isn’t going to help his case. He threw a way-too-hittable curveball on 0-2 to Pablo Sandoval with a runner at third base, and with that went Urias’ chance at a win (pitcher wins, BFD … but still). Kelly then gave up a double and, because Sandoval was the runner, the game remained tied. Scott Alexander relieved Kelly and gave up a 2-run double to Belt to give SF a 4-2 lead.

Craig Kimbrel, anyone?

The offense — aside from those two dongs from Taylor and Verdugo — sputtered tonight. That isn’t surprising. The Giants — no matter how good or not-good their roster looks — always play the Dodgers tough.

The Dodgers fall to 3-2 on the season while the Giants improve to 2-3. Hyun-Jin Ryu gets the ball for the second time this season. He’ll be taking on the familiar Madison Bumgarner. 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.