Rockies 9, Dodgers 4: Velocity concerns real in Urias’ season debut as Dodgers drop poorly played opening series

The Opening Day win was fun. Then the Dodgers fell to the Rockies, 3-2, on Saturday to set up the rubber game on getaway day in Denver. Unfortunately, Julio Urias had a concerning start in the 9-4 loss on Sunday, a windy rollercoaster that led to the Dodgers’ first series loss at Coors Field since 2018.

The Dodgers’ offense finally broke loose for 10 hits (including two Cody Bellinger hits), but some great Colorado defense and bad luck kept the Dodgers’ bats at bay until the 4th inning. Things looked bleak for the Dodgers with a 6-0 Rockies lead after the third, but the Dodgers came back to pull within three runs behind a solid relief appearance by Mitch White, who took over for Urias after two innings.

The Dodgers made a valiant effort to come back, but the offense continued to struggle with RISP. They went 2-for-9 with RISP and left seven men on base. In the first series, the Dodgers went 6-for-23 and left 21 men on base.


The Dodgers singled twice in the first inning, but left with nothing to show for it. Freddie Freeman grounded into a double play, and that really put a hamper on the inning.

Trea Turner‘s single in the 1st extended his hitting streak to 22 games.

Julio Urias then took the mound for the first time this season. He came off a bumpy Spring Training where he allowed 11 hits in eight innings of work. Weight loss and a shortened spring training seemed to lead to a lower fastball velocity for Urias to start the season.

The wind was swirling aggressively at Coors Field, and the Rockies offense was aggressive at the plate. The Rockies got three straight hits in the bottom of the first off Urias to take a 3-0 lead. Kris Bryant has a hit in every game as a Rockie. Bryant and C.J. Cron singled off Urias. Then a wind-driven fly ball “double” by Ryan McMahon drove in two runs. CT3 should have caught that. The scorekeeper was being very generous, but it was changed to an error (E7) on Taylor later in the game.

Then Randal Grichuk singled off a 92-mph Urias four-seamer to drive in a third run. Urias ended up making 29 pitches in the inning and averaged 91.9 mph on his fastball in the inning, considerably lower than his speed last year.

Another hard-hit ball led to a double play from Will Smith, which squelched the offense for the Dodgers in the 2nd. There was hope for a two-out rally, however. Cody Bellinger picked up his first base hit of the season, a little swinging bunt grounder to third, but we’ll take it. Taylor made up for his miscatch by doubling to right field. The Dodgers offense was finally in business. Unfortunately Gavin Lux grounded out to end the threat and strand both runners.

Urias got back on track in the 2nd with a nine-pitch frame, but C.J. Cron‘s 113-mph two-run blast off Urias’ curveball in the 3rd extended Colorado’s lead to 5-0. The Rockies added a sixth run on a Elias Diaz base hit.

Urias’ final line was: 2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 57 pitches (33 strikes).

The Dodgers’ bats struck for four runs in the 4th. A positive takeaway from the game was that Bellinger had a solid hit in the fourth and had two hits and a walk altogether. The Dodgers started the four-run rally with a bases-loaded Taylor sac fly. They re-loaded the bases on a Lux shot to short. That would be all for Antonio Senzatela.

Bud Black threw veteran Jhoulys Chacin into the fire with the bases loaded and the top of the Dodgers’ lineup due up. With a full count on Mookie, Chacin struck Betts out swinging on a great slider for the second out. Then Kris Bryant tried to fight the sun, like Taylor, and dropped a Freeman fly ball in left field. Three runs scored on the play which balanced out the wind plays for both teams. This one is ruled an error right away on Bryant.

Ty Blach debuted for the Rockies in the top of the 6th, the first time the left-hander has pitched in a major league game since 2019. The Dodgers squandered away another prime opportunity to score. Bellinger walked to lead off the inning and reached three times in the game. Taylor laid down a great bunt down the third base line to set the Dodgers up with runners at first and second and nobody out. However, Lux flew out, Betts struck out, and Freeman grounded out to strand another two runners.

On the other end, the Dodgers’ bullpen of Mitch White (3.2 innings), Brusdar Graterol (0.1 inning), Evan Phillips (1 innings), and Justin Bruihl (1 inning) ultimately pitched admirably, allowing just one earned run (on White). But five of the nine Colorado runs were unearned, and two more came in during the 7th, when Grichuk reached on an error off Freeman, then Elias Diaz homered to cash in another unearned run making it 9-4.

Despite some action, the Dodgers’ offense went largely quiet after the 4th. A lot of that was thanks to Blach, who got the save after going four scoreless, getting Freeman on strikes to end the game and the series. The offense went flat in the opening series, an unexpected result considering the Dodgers’ potent lineup.


The Dodgers fall to 1-2.

After an off-day Monday, the Dodgers finish their first road series of the 2022 season in Minnesota with a two-game set against the Twins. Chris Archer faces Andrew Heaney on Tuesday at 4:40 PM PST, depending on the weather in Minneapolis.

About 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.