Urias Dazzles, Bunting Fizzles, Dodgers Rally For Walk-off Win

Julio Urias

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

WP-Jansen-2-0

LP-Hudson-0-2

HR-Grandal-4

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.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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48 thoughts on “Urias Dazzles, Bunting Fizzles, Dodgers Rally For Walk-off Win

  1. This was a great write up. The level of detail is welcomed. I was ok with the bunt attempt by Kike but Taylor doesn’t strike out much. We could have put on a play there. I would love to see Okoyea Dickson instead of SVS or Trayce THompson. Is Segedin healthy? He can spot Turner too.

    What was the exit velocity on Bellinger’s single? He shortened up his strokr there a bit. Still too long but he definitely shortened it.

    Let the kids play in May!

    1. Okoye Dickson is spiraling down. His average at OKC is now .278. He has not hit a homer in over a week. Trace Thompson is still struggling to find his swing. He is at .130. All the outfielders at OKC are below .300 save Verdugo, who is over .300, but with ZERO power. Eibner is at .258, and SVS who has been playing 1st for only 3 games is hitting .200. There are no answers in the minors. Kike is no outfielder that’s for sure, and now with Toles having a MRI, they say a possible MCI problem, they are really in a bind.

  2. A great tidbit from tonight’s game, courtesy of Eric’s recap at TBLA:

    “The coaches were joking with me, because I told Ross at about 3 o’clock today that he was going to be pinch running,” manager Dave Roberts said, smiling. “He’s been stretching for about 7 hours.”

    “I spent the whole time in the dugout, the whole game,” Stripling said. “It’s like he knew something was coming.”

    Eric’s recaps are too bland for me but he’s a better journalist than those at Yahoo and ESPN.

  3. I was really hoping that Urias would get the win. The kid really deserved it. The team pulled together and rallied back. Nice to see. Lots of varied hitting.

      1. That was my mantra last year! That and “keep everybody”. Took some heat for it but many of those young guys we had are playing in the bigs now, and more are on the way. I think it would have been an exciting to see them all come up together.

  4. I was wrong about Barnes. He seems to be doing all we could expect of him, more than I thought he was capable of doing. I don’t know how he’d stack up as an everyday catcher but, for a backup, I’m pleasantly surprised. Not so with Kike. With Taylor playing as well as he is, there is really no place for Kike on the team. A real outfielder would be a better choice, but do we have one in OKC who might stack up? Not SVS, he needs some time down there to play and get his game back up to snuff.

    1. I’m certainly willing to eat my words on Barnes if he continues to produce. Let’s see………..
      Even Ugley contributed tonight.

      MJ, way too early to judge Baez. I like him, but speed kills. Let’s see how it plays out.

      Loved that clutch hit by Bellinger. Woo-hoo.

      1. Jeff

        Baez has been doing this since the post season in 2014.

        He just gave up HR to lose another game, about a week ago.

        And last year at the begining of the season, he also gave up a lot of HRs then.

  5. Read this at Insider:

    ” Roberts said the number he had in mind for Urías was 110 before he would’ve pulled him. With Urías approaching 100 pitches in the seventh inning, Roberts would’ve had a tough decision to make if Urías no-hitter stayed intact.”

    I like Barnes as a backup too. I have a feeling Kiké may be a favorite son of the powers that be. He did show a lot of promise a while back, but promise only counts if promise is kept. I see no progress in his game. He can still show flashes of brilliance but the light of real brilliance doesn’t flash, it remains on. I think Kiké has become a moveable piece. Trade him for another left handed reliever. We seem to be searching for more of them. SVS? He looks lost.

    1. Is everyone so use to Baez giving up the game tying, or winning HR, that know one mentioned him.

      I still don’t think he is that much better then Hatcher.

      Baez has been giving up game winning HRs, for quite a while now.

      When a hitter is up there to just do one thing, they should be easier to strike out.

      When is he going to stop giving up cookies, to these hitters?

      1. Baez has given up 2 home runs this year and neither one has won a game for the opponent. They are by the way the only 2 runs he has given up this year. So he has been much more effective than last year. Comes with the territory MJ, Baez throws 97. A straight fastball is very easy to hit especially when it is down the pipe. Baez is more effective this year because he mixes in his off speed a little more. He hung one, and it happens. He has been in 12 games and over 13 innings he has given up only 5 hits. Avg against is .116. His big bugaboo this year is walks. He has 10 with only 12 K’s. But none of those walks has scored…….yet.

        1. Michael

          He didn’t start the season on time, and he just just gave up HR to Michael Morse, and he gave up another HR, last night.

          He didn’t take the loss last night, because we came back, and he either allowed the Giants to tie the game, or go ahead in a game, when he gave up that HR,to Morse.

          He comes in, and he walks a lot hitters too.

          1. I know that MJ and I mentioned the walks in that prior post, but the homers are the only 2 runs he has given up this year. He has been effective. The point is he has not been giving up runs and 2 runs in 12 innings is not bad at all. When he has gotten in trouble he has managed to get out of it. The team picked him up to be sure. By comparison, Kershaw has given up 7 homers already this year, and last year he gave up only 8. I think you are nit picking this one game. Baez is better so far this year than last, Kershaw is so far worse than last. But he is still a great pitcher right? Romo gave up the hit that got the first run in and Avilan gave up the tying run. Relief pitchers have a very narrow margin of error.

  6. I’ll echo a great question from yesterday.

    When will Roberts stop using Romo (until he finds his groove?!??!) in high leverage situations.

    And I’ll add:

    Why isn’t Dayton or Fields being tried in the set-up/high leverage role?

    1. Dayton had a bad outing on the 3rd where he walked 2 gave up 3 hits and 3 earned runs. His next time out he only went 1/3rd of an inning. I do not know why Roberts has used him so little this month. Fields has pitched really well in his return. So I guess you have to ask Dave. To be fair, Romo got the first hitter he faced. That double he gave up should have been caught.

    2. Another thought.

      If Toles indeed goes on the DL?

      SVS, Eiber and Thompson are on the 40 and RHB.

      Or is it time for Verdugo with Kazmir to the 60.

      1. Not a good option in the bunch. Besides, it’s FAZ, remember? He’ll trade another prospect for a Reddick like loser…

      2. Verdugo is a LH bat, so far this year he does not have a HR, and only 9 ribbies. SVS and Thompson still not making consistent contact. Eibner has seen his average drop over 50 points since he went down.

  7. I thought Kike did get the bunt down with two strikes. That is how Utley moved to 3B. But Kike is not very good with the glove. We are going to see more of that? Yikes!

  8. Interesting read on Toles. Someone here or another blog mentioned that it looked like pitchers were trying to get him out on breaking stuff and he needed to learn to lay off those pitches as well as high fastballs.

    Apparently that’s exactly what they’re doing and he knows their strategy and is working on making adjustments.

    Hope he’s good. Encouraging that he walked off without much of a limp. Possible sprained knee, which is better than a tear.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/how-much-power-does-andrew-toles-have/

    1. Thanks Dodger patch!

      I saw that article.

      Toles does have some pretty good numbers in his first 200 major league at bats, and for his age.

      He has some good numbers in isolated power, and he is ranked 40th in War, out of one hundred players, too.

      I hope he is ok.

      I have only really hurt my knee once, and because it was on my good side, I couldn’t drive my stick, or walk into the doctor that easily.

      I needed help, but thank goodness, I only bruised my kneecap, but it was really painful, at first.

      And I do have a high pain threshold, so I was scared, because I couldn’t afford to have anything else, slow me down.

  9. If Toles goes on the DL then Gonzalez will return to the team when he is eligible and Bellinger will shift to LF.

    1. Sometime life (and work) get in the way but thanks for asking Bluto.

      I haven’t seen many of the recent games but have kept up with the box scores and of course this blog.

      Dodgers are making hay with the AAA ‘P’ ball clubs. Currently 10 -1 against the Padres, Phillies and Pirates. But dominating those teams is necessary to having a good record. 9 -13 against everyone else. After tonight they do not play either the Pad’s, Phils or Pirates until June 30th. IMO, the toughest part of their schedule is the next 7 weeks.

  10. Baez has given up two HRs in 13 innings, and his strike outs are down, and his walks are up.

    He has a good era, but his Fip is over 5!

    1. Who cares about his Fip? He has gotten the job done. He pitches at most 1 inning a game. 2 earned runs in 13 innings over 12 games is pretty damn good. So they went ahead, he is not the only guy on the staff who has given up a homer in a tight game. Romo has been really good at that.

  11. While many are down on Romo, he is getting a bum rap on last night’s effort. He comes in and records an out to the first batter faced. Then the second batter hits a ball that should have been easily caught for an out by Kike (I guess the night sun, moon, was in his eyes), Kike gives his best matador impression and lets the ball roll to the fence. Come on, that can’t be Romo’s fault. I think when Forsythe returns, Kike may be headed out, or should be headed out, ya never know with this FO.

    I noticed that Pitch-framing squirrel found a couple of nuts last night. He probably stays hot for about 4 more games and then heads back into the deep-freeze.

    Fields has been a hit and miss reliever, hardly what I would call dependable, now unpredictable might be a better descriptor.

  12. Toles has a torn ACL. Out for the year. Surgery in 2 weeks per Ned Colletti and David Vassegh. No line up yet and not a word about who will be called up.

    1. For the time being, at least, Brett Eibner will take his place on the active roster, per J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group (Twitter link). Also coming up is Scott Van Slyke, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports (Twitter links), with reliever Adam Liberatore also hitting the DL with a groin strain. The two new additions to the roster, however, both hit from the right side.

    2. Jonah

      Looks like we will have to settle for, nothing much above 250, in the outfield, unless Either comes back.

      But Bellinger gives me hope, and he will be playing left, once Agone comes back.

      He is in left tonight!

  13. Toles out rest of the year. Huge bummer. Hope he stays in shape and come back strong. He’s a good kid. Maybe he could work on his arms and develop a cannon while he’s recuperating.

    I think Rick is right. They won’t call anyone up. Kike and Bellinger will be the outfielders when A-Gon returns from DL. I hope Taylor gets to play some LF too when Forsythe comes off the DL. We had Kendricks playing LF last year, we should be fine. Just a real bummer with Toles.

    Romo should just be used 1 batter at a time these days, as a ROOGY. I don’t fault him for what happened last night at all, but he needs to stop pitching like something bad will happen and work with more authority. Speaking of which, that’s exactly what Baez is missing his whole career. He just never looks comfortable on the mound and the hitters get more aggressive against him. Maybe he should hit a few hatters or give more chin music.

    1. YF

      I think Kershaw should pitch inside too.

      He is to around the plate, and he is going to get hit more because of that.

    1. He couldn’t hit Jonah. But his arm’s gotten him to the majors and that’s better than most third base prospects.

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