Pirates 6, Dodgers 2,: And that’s right back to .500

As the headline says, a 6-2 loss to conclude the road trip at 4-3 sends the Dodgers right back to .500 as Mitch Keller matched a career-high with 10 strikeouts and Julio Urias sandwiched what could have been a solid outing between two rough innings.


After scoring just one run on Wednesday, the Dodgers only needed five batters to surpass that Thursday morning in Pittsburgh as they fooled everyone into thinking they might bounce back with a strong offensive output.

Mookie Betts drew a leadoff walk following an 0-2 start, and the two Dodgers who have been a little unlucky to open the season came through with a pair of singles. Jason Heyward sent a 2-2 curve to right field, advancing Betts to third. With two outs and David Peralta at the plate, Heyward took off for second as he looked to draw a throw and allow Betts to take off from third. Even with Heyward stopping midway to second, the Pirates resisted the temptation which wound up working out well for the Dodgers. An 0-1 sinker went back up the middle for Peralta to score both runners and give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.

As Josh pointed out in the Dodgers Digest Discord this morning (and Dustin has previously as well), Heyward entered the day with a .288 wOBA and a .363 xWOBA while Peralta was at .201 and .311, respectively. Yes, neither of those are great even if they were meeting the expectation (specifically Peralta), but it shouldn’t be this bad.

However, Urias and the Dodgers’ defense immediately surrendered that early advantage.

A bunt single and two-base error on Austin Barnes‘ horrible throw down to first put Tucupita Marcano on third with Bryan Reynolds and Andrew McCutchen adding back-to-back singles. Another double steal for Pittsburgh, a sacrifice fly and a single for Jack Suwinski quickly made it 3-2 in favor it Pittsburgh. It probably could have still been a tie game assuming no throwing error leaves no space for the steals to move up, as no run would have scored on the second single of the game.

Both offenses slowed down in the 2nd as Keller struck out the side and Urias needed just five pitches to get three outs as the Pirates started swinging at nearly any fastball he threw. Keller ended up striking out 10 through 6 innings to set a new season high before leaving after 97 pitches, with five hits and one walk allowed. Thankfully, Urias had settled in simultaneously to keep the game close for a bit. A pair of lineouts were hit hard against his fastball in the 2nd and 3rd, but two strikeouts in the 4th and a lot of weak contact in the 5th led to just 41 pitches across those four innings after a 26-pitch 1st inning.

However, while Keller wrapped up his day with a strong finish after the rough start, it went to shit for Urias in the 6th. A walk to McCutchen became a 5-2 deficit as Connor Joe homered to left with Rodolfo Castro going back-to-back three pitches later on a homer to left-center. After a strikeout and a 1-2 start to Mark Mathias, Urias allowed a single and Dave Roberts had enough.

Ultimately, Urias finished his day at 5 2/3 innings with seven hits, six runs, two walks and five strikeouts on 96 pitches.


Those two home runs Urias allowed in the 6th inning became the third consecutive start he’s allowed back-to-back home runs after allowing a pair in the 6th to the Cubs back on April 16 and once again against the Cubs in the 3rd inning on April 21.

That first time, the homers came as Urias reached 90 pitches with the second only after 55 given how much earlier in the game it came. Today’s came after he hit 80 pitches. The numbers below exclude this afternoon’s start and are arbitrary cut offs, but it shows what everyone has been able to see over the past few outings.

Pitch TotalsOPS Allowed

I could have done this for the times through the order as well, and it pretty much would line up the same way. Just pointing it out to see if it corrects as the season goes on, specifically the slow starts (which have been aided by a .533 BABIP).


For what it’s worth, Phil Bickford and Victor Gonzalez combined for 2 1/3 scoreless innings, with the latter striking out a pair with his velocity still up and four misses on six swings against his sinker, as well as one on the lone swing against his changeup.

Oh, and the Dodgers managed just three singles after the 1st inning.


The Dodgers now head back home to face the Cardinals for three games with Dustin May against Jack Flaherty for Friday’s 7:10 p.m. first pitch from Dodger Stadium on Apple TV+.

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.