Julio Urías continues where he left off in World Series by dominating the Rockies
Julio Urías was about to pitch deeper into a major league game than ever before, in a ballpark that had given him nightmares in the past, and he couldn’t have looked more comfortable Sunday.
He whispered to himself. He coolly stretched. He dropped his arm slot. He was toying with the Colorado Rockies, exuding a quiet confidence, and they didn’t have an answer.
Fueled by a dynamite changeup, Urías picked up where he left off from his dominant postseason and dominated the Rockies over a career-high seven innings as the Dodgers beat the Rockies, 4-2, to take three of four games at Coors Field.
“All my pitches were working well,” Urías said in Spanish. “And it being in Colorado, I’m even happier, knowing how difficult pitching here is.”
Urías entered the outing with a 5.77 ERA in 34 1/3 career innings at Coors Field. On Sunday, he pitched into the eighth inning and threw just 79 pitches. He gave up three hits. He compiled six strikeouts, one walk, and 13 swing-and-misses. The left-hander tossed 24 changeups, more than in any outing in 2020. He didn’t yield a hit with it. The pitch generated eight whiffs and completed four strikeouts.
“His changeup was filthy today,” catcher Will Smith said. “That’s the best I’ve ever seen his changeup.”
Jimmy Nelson relieved Urías in the eighth inning and prowled off the mound thinking the inning was over after striking out the next two batters. He flashed a smiled when he realized it wasn’t. Then he nearly blew the lead.
Chris Owings walked on four pitches. Garrett Hampson smacked a two-run double. Next came Trevor Story, the Rockies’ best player, representing the tying run. Nelson struck him out to avoid a debacle before Corey Knebel logged a perfect ninth inning for his first save as a Dodger.
Urías’s closest fling with trouble occurred in the sixth inning when Story stepped to the plate with two runners on base. Story flied out on the first pitch.
Austin Gomber, the Rockies’ starter, was one of the players Colorado received from the St. Louis Cardinals in the trade for franchise cornerstone Nolan Arenado. His debut was disastrous.
The Dodgers, playing without Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager, chased the left-hander after three innings not by mashing balls through the thin air, but by practicing patience. Gomber yielded three runs on four walks, an error and a wild pitch in the first inning. He didn’t give up a hit and it didn’t matter. He spotted the Dodgers a three-run lead and Urías didn’t need much.
The Dodgers tallied just one hit off Gomber and off reliever Carlos Estévez before Smith slugged a leadoff home run in the eighth inning. The homer was, remarkably, the Dodgers’ first official home run over the wall in the series after a baserunning gaffe erased Cody Bellinger’s opening day home run and Zach McKinstry registered an inside-the-park homer Saturday.
Urías, meanwhile, was still in the game. He faced just one batter in the eighth inning, giving up a leadoff single to Ryan McMahon, before manager Dave Roberts took the ball to end the 24-year-old Mexican’s best start of his big league career.
“There’s no ceiling for him,” Roberts said.
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