Rockies @ Dodgers April 4, 2023: Julio Urias wraps up opening homestand

Dodger Stadium
Photo: Cody Bashore

I regret to inform everyone the Dodgers will be losing today.

Alternating high-scoring outputs of 8, 10 and 13 runs with a pair of 1-run games, the Dodgers will look to break that ridiculous trend through the first five games of the season. The 13 hits against the Rockies last night were spread across eight batters, with Freddie Freeman going 3-for-4, while J.D. Martinez, James Outman and Jason Heyward all added a pair of hits as well. However, German Marquez is a bit of a different challenge than Ryan Feltner.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers’ rotation is also back to the top with Julio Urias facing the Rockies. Be sure to check out Daniel’s look at Urias’ first start and the cutter he debuted by throwing to right-handed batters on Opening Day.

Image Image
7:10 PM Los Angeles
LF Profar (S) 2B Betts
CF Daza 1B Freeman (L)
RF Bryant C Smith
1B Cron 3B Muncy (L)
DH Montero DH Martinez
2B McMahon (L) LF Peralta (L)
C Diaz CF Outman (L)
3B Trejar SS Taylor
SS Tovar RF Heyward (L)
P Marquez (R) P Urias (L)

Unsurprisingly, Miguel Vargas gets the day off at second base following yesterday’s hit by pitch on the thumb. As for the absence of Miguel Rojas (I am absolutely going to mix those up at some point this season), he’s out of the lineup with Chris Taylor at shortstop because…

As for the severity of Vargas’ thumb…

With Mookie Betts in the infield, it allows Heyward another start in the outfield with a right-handed pitcher on the mound. Both he and David Peralta have some past success against Marquez, so it works out to have them both in the lineup for tonight to play it safe with Vargas.

For the Rockies, Yonathan Daza, Elehuris Montero and Ezequiel Tovar move into the lineup for Charlie Blackmon, Mike Moustakas and Harold Castro with the left-handed Urias on the mound.


The 28-year-old Marquez allowed just two runs across 6 innings for Colorado on Opening Day in San Diego, striking out 5 to 0 walks. That followed 17 innings in Spring Training where Marquez allowed just one run, a solo homer by Milwaukee’s Garrett Mitchell on March 24, and struck out 20 to just 2 walks. It’s a much better start to 2023 than the 2022 Marquez had as his 4.95 ERA was his worst since his Major League debut back in 2016. A 4.71 FIP was the worst of his career and his 4.02 xFIP was the worst since 2017. That all included his worst K% (19.3%) since 2015 as his bWAR of 1.4 and fWAR of 1.4 were his lowest since taking on a full-time role in the majors.

Marquez did get hit hard by the Padres, with six batted balls at 103+ on the exit velocity. While three of those went for hits, three were outs (two of which had an xBA of .720 and .490). All three of the hits came on Marquez’s fastball, which finished 2022 with a RV of 12 to tie for 2,356th among the 2,389 pitchers ranked on Baseball Savant. Simply put, the pitch wasn’t very good a year ago and the Padres continued to hit it hard on Thursday.

However, the slider Marquez threw 23 times in the opener generated six Whiffs on 10 swings with six more called strikes. Two of his five strikeouts came on the pitch, with a sacrifice fly, double play and ground out accounting for the three other results against the pitch. While all of it is a small sample, the slider was up at 88.8 mph from 87.7 last year while the vertical movement was down a few inches. All the way back in 2018, Marquez had a -13 RV on his slider, but that dropped back to 9 RV in 2019 and has yet to regain the same success across a full season. The Padres also struggled to hit Marquez’s curve, historically his strongest pitch. A -7 RV in 2022 tied for 14th of 275 pitchers after a peak of -13 in 2019 tied for 5th among 328 pitchers.

More than anything, it’ll be something to watch for after Marquez pitched pretty well against the Dodgers last season with a .208/.278/.416/.694 line in 28 1/3 innings across 5 starts.

Peralta’s .327/.377/.551/.928 line with two home runs in 49 at-bats is among the best on the team while Outman is 1-for-2 with a home run and a strikeout and Martinez is 3-for-5 with a home run and a strikeout. Muncy has three homers against Marquez in 30 at-bats to help bump his OPS to .778 (with a .278 OBP helped by five walks) and Heyward at a .917 OPS in 12 at-bats.


With Daniel already covering Urias’ new pitch, there’s no need to go that deeply into his Opening Day start. Striking out six in 6 innings of work, Urias allowed two runs on four hits with no walks. A hit by pitch and two singles brought in a run in the 1st inning against the D-backs, with a double and sacrifice fly bringing in the second run an inning later. From there, no base runner reached second base safely while the Dodgers offense gave Urias the support he needed.

Kris Bryant, C.J. Cron and Ryan McMahon have hit Urias well in the past, with OPS of .942, .945 and .868 respectively. All three have at least 20 career at-bats against the Dodgers’ lefty, while Daza also has a .780 OPS in 11 at-bats. Urias has struck out Cron six times and McMahon five times, with Elias Diaz suffering the most against Urias with seven strikeouts and a .426 OPS in 23 at-bats.


As for another one of the injured Dodger pitchers, Daniel Hudson is still struggling to make progress with his knee.


While Triple-A OKC will be four games into its season after tonight, the other affiliates will get started in the next few days. Double-A Tulsa has five players on the 40-man roster, including Diego Cartaya, Eddys Leonard, Jorbit Vivas, Andy Pages and Jonny DeLuca. Add in Nick Frasso, River Ryan, Emmet Sheehan and Jose Ramos, and the Drillers will obviously generate plenty of attention this season.


First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. on SportsNet LA, MLB Network and ESPN+.

About Cody Bashore

Cody Bashore is a lifelong Dodger fan originally from Carpinteria, California (about 80 miles north of Dodger Stadium along the coast). He left California to attend Northern Arizona University in 2011, and has lived in Arizona full-time since he graduated in 2014 with a journalism degree.