Julio Urias had a chance to become one of the youngest pitchers in baseball history to toss a no-hitter and by golly he was doing that entering the seventh inning during the second game of the Dodger’s three game series against the Pirates. Instead the game ended in the bottom of the tenth with Austin Barnes smacking the walk-off hit off the bench and pinch-runner Ross Stripling scoring the winning run as the Dodgers had to rally to do it and beat the Bucs by a 4-3 score.
That is of course just how they envisioned it when they were winning 2-0 in the top of the seventh inning and Urias was pitching a no-hitter. Afterwards the Dodgers played two of the stupidest innings of the season and all of a sudden the Bucs were winning 3-2.
Pirates 3 4 0
Dodgers 4 13 1
It’s important to remember here that the Pirates are essentially a dead club this season. They’ve been pretty bad and seem to resemble an episode of six feet under with Richard Jenkins. Oh yes they’re not good but the Dodgers had to play two of the dumbest innings of their season in order to give the Pirates a chance to win.
For the first six and half innings the game was a tight pitching duel. Urias was throwing a no-hitter and mound opponent Ivan Nova was pitching very well too. Let’s not let the shenanigans of the seventh and eighth innings take away from what Urias was doing. The youngster dazzled on the mound throwing 6.1 innings of no-hit ball and finishing with just one earned run on two hits, two walks and five strikeouts. Urias was allowed to make 95 pitches before they removed him from the game.
Ivan Nova was good as well. He allowed just two earned runs on seven hits across 6.1 innings and struck out 2. He’s got an ERA of 2.23 and has been very tough to hit this year. But this game was not decided by either of these men.
The Dodgers initially took the lead in the bottom of the fourth when Cody Bellinger walked and Yasmani Grandal homered over the center field fence to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. Grandal had a great game going 3 for 5 with two runs driven in and a run scored.
So Urias went into the seventh inning with a no-hitter going and everyone on twitter was talking about history if Dave Roberts didn’t pull another mother goose and yank Urias to “protect” him like he did with Ross Stripling. I was actually kind of relieved that didn’t factor in because Urias allowed a hit before leaving. I didn’t want to hear the narrative again.
So in that seventh frame Andrew McCutchen’s ground-rule double ruined the no-hitter. The ball bounced into the left field stands and Andrew Toles hurt himself on the play running after the ball. He had to be removed and was replaced by my favorite bum Kike Hernandez. Urias stayed in and got Polanco to line out to Puig for the first out. Then in comes Sergio Romo. He’s been terrible and I don’t understand why he was allowed to come in during a high leverage situation as much you don’t understand it.
He strikes out pinch-hitter Josh Bell for the second out and the Dodgers are close to getting out of the inning. Then Bucs catcher Francisco Cervelli doubles into the gap to score McCutchen and it’s a 2-1 game. Exit Romo and enter left hander Luis Avilan. Exit the lead as Max Moroff singles (his first MLB hit) to left to tie the score. It wasn’t really a hit because Kike lost the ball in the lights and went down on one knee (Ole’) to allow the ball to roll to the wall. I almost Moroff’d my dinner up after that. Thankfully Avilan picks off Moroff to end the inning.
The next two innings are so stupid it made my head hurt. In the bottom of the seventh and eighth the Dodgers rallied to put runners on base and screwed it up. They didn’t score. By some miracle Chase Utley doubles to lead-off the seventh inning and the Dodgers have a runner in scoring position. Then the stupid happens.
Stupid bunt attempt #1-Kike is asked to bunt. He can’t. He gets two strikes and then bunt strikes out. Lovely.
Then 100-mph throwing left hander Felipe Rivero relieves Nova and hits Corey Seager in the shoulder to put two runners on. Then some stupid base running occurs when Justin Turner’s grounder to the box turns into a force out because Utley was running on contact with the Pittsburgh infield playing up. Utley is tagged out at the plate and then Cody Bellinger is called out on strikes to end the inning.
The Pirates took the lead in the top of the eighth when Pedro Baez serves up a pinch-hit solo home run to John Jaso that landed into the Pirate’s bullpen. Yasiel Puig made a leaping try but to no avail. Bucs lead 3-2.
The Dodgers screwed up another rally in the bottom of the eighth. Former Dodger Juan Nicasio is on the mound and with two outs allows a double to Chris Taylor. I swear Taylor is like the second coming of Ted Williams right now. Puig struck out but the ball gets away from Cervelli and Puig reaches base on a passed ball third strike. Another lefty Tony Watson comes in and strikes out pinch-hitter Franklin Gutierrez to end the inning.
The Dodgers tied the game in the bottom of the ninth and could have won it right there, but Joc grounded into a double play that a review ruled in the Buc’s favor. Consecutive singles from Seager, Turner, and Bellinger tied the game at 3-3. Then Joc’s double play ended the inning.
There was one more stupid bunt attempt in the tenth inning seemingly taken from the play book of Don Mattingly that almost prevented the Dodgers from winning. With Daniel Hudson on the mound for Pittsburgh, Grandal singles and is immediately pinch-ran for by Ross Stripling.
Stupid bunt attempt #2
Then Dave “Mattingly” Roberts asks the Dodger’s hottest hitter Chris Taylor to bunt Grandal over to second. Of course it failed as Taylor ended up striking out. Puig struck out as well and there were two outs in the inning. Pinch-hitter Austin Barnes stepped to the dish and promptly doubled into the right center gap to score Stripling who chugged around third to score. The Dodgers win it!!!
No word on the injury from Andrew Toles, but it’s some kind of leg/knee (possible ACL) injury. It’s super scary because it could mean the return of Scott Van Slyke and continued playing time for Kike. That is of course Andrew Friedman’s wettest dream to see those two automatic outs back in the lineup for an extended amount of time.
The Dodgers have now won four in a row and improve to 19-14. They’ve won 8 out of their last ten and are now 1.5 games out of first place. Kenta Maeda will take the mound on Wednesday night’s series finale. Chad Kuhl counters for the Bucs. Apparently Huyn-jin Ryu is slated to pitch on Thursday in Denver. Better save the bullpen. Let’s hope Maeda can give them some innings.