The Dodgers misplaced Walker Buehler for good on Monday afternoon.
Their 4-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night time, nevertheless, was a reminder they nonetheless may need one other ace within the gap.
Hours after the group introduced Buehler will endure season-ending elbow surgical procedure subsequent week, Julio Urías helped soften the blow, grinding by 5 shutout innings to proceed a second-half run pretty much as good as virtually any pitcher in baseball.
In his final six begins, Urías recorded a 0.95 ERA and excellent 6-0 file. He has flashed renewed life along with his fastball and an all-important skill to work out of jams.
Getting into the season, he won’t have been the apparent candidate to anchor the rotation, after Buehler was tabbed the opening day starter and Clayton Kershaw re-signed with the membership as a free agent.
However with Buehler now carried out for the yr, Kershaw persevering with to nurse yet one more again damage, and the remainder of the Dodgers pitching workers missing in depth postseason beginning expertise, there won’t be a extra vital pitcher within the Dodgers clubhouse than 26-year-old left-hander — who, in supervisor Dave Roberts’ view, has reached one other stage along with his efficiency during the last month.
“It’s the consistency,” Roberts stated. “I think that every starter is gonna have some bad ones and that happens. But the elite guys, their really bad ones aren’t that bad and they still give you some length.”
That was the case for Urías on Monday night time.
Missing his regular command early, he started the primary inning with a stroll and single. He yielded one other base hit to the leadoff man within the second. Within the third, the primary two batters reached base once more.
But, Urías escaped the jam every time, burying the center of the Brewers order within the first, dialing up a double-play grounder within the second and placing out a few hitters within the third.
“I thought it was a grind,” Roberts stated. “But when he needed to make pitches he did.”
Finally, Urías began to get in sync.
Within the fourth inning, he stranded a one-out single whereas additionally surpassing 96 mph along with his fastball 4 instances — one thing he hadn’t carried out as soon as in his first 22 begins this season.
Within the fifth, he accomplished his outing by retiring the aspect so as, establishing the Dodgers (80-34) to finish their tenth shutout of the marketing campaign and grow to be the primary group in baseball to achieve the 80-win plateau.
“It wasn’t my best night,” Urías stated in Spanish, “but was still able to get through five innings and we still won the game, which is the important thing.”
Even after grinding towards the Brewers (61-53) on Monday, Urías continues to appear like not solely the Dodgers’ greatest pitcher, however one of many hottest arms within the majors.
His 0.95 ERA since July 16 — the primary of his dominant six-start run -— ranks third amongst certified large leaguers, behind solely Dylan Stop and Blake Snell. His 38 innings in that span are additionally third most, behind Max Scherzer and Logan Webb.
And nobody can match Urías’ unblemished file in that stretch, after he acquired run help on a Freddie Freeman solo dwelling run within the first, a Will Smith sacrifice fly within the fifth and a Gavin Lux opposite-field two-run blast within the sixth.
On the season, Urías is now 13-6 with a 2.40 ERA, greater than half a run decrease than final yr when he completed seventh in Cy Younger Award voting.
“I know he’s not an All-Star,” Freeman stated of Urías, who was snubbed from the midsummer traditional this yr, “but I mean, we got to be getting close to being in the Cy Young race here. … Left arms don’t come around like that very often.”
Even after his 2021 regular-season efficiency, the Dodgers nonetheless used Urías in a hybrid function final October.
When the playoffs roll round this yr, although, they won’t have any selection however to hope he may also help carry the rotation.
Currently, he’s appeared greater than able to doing it.
“He’s been a constant for us,” Roberts stated. “So when you have a guy at the top of the rotation, that can do what he does and for the most part spell the bullpen and put us in a position to win every time he takes the mound, it’s certainly helpful. That’s what he’s become.”