Talented left-hander Julio Urias took the mound for the Oklahoma City Dodgers on Monday night in his season debut. In doing so, he managed to go five innings, give up just four hits, zero walks, zero runs, and fanned nine batters on just 73 pitches. Hilariously, the pitching line doesn’t do his performance justice.
At one point in the game, Urias ended up retiring 12 straight Memphis Redbirds batters thanks to a plethora of easy outs. It didn’t matter if that was from a strikeout, nubber back to the mound, or lazy fly balls to the outfield. No matter the circumstance, Urias was dominant for the vast duration of the night.
He flashed a good pickoff repertoire throughout the night whenever a runner happened to get on first base. The four hits he gave up came in just two innings, those innings being the first and the fifth. In the first, he gave up a two-out single past the lunging first baseman Lars Anderson before then giving up a second straight single, this one of the infield variety thanks to the shift. He then got a groundout back to the mound to end the inning.
In the fifth, Urias struck out the first two batters, which was the tail end of his 12 in a row retired, before then giving up a single just beyond the shortstop and a liner to left field. He then buckled down to strikeout the next batter to get out of the inning, and Urias even showed some emotion as he slapped his glove and looked enthusiastic after the punch out. It was the last batter he faced.
9th, and final, K. pic.twitter.com/gymk7179kw
— Justin Russo (@FlyByKnite) April 12, 2016
Throughout the start, Urias controlled both sides of the plate with his fastball, as well as north and south thanks to his late life on the pitch. That late life was more than enough to send many batters back to the dugout shaking their heads. His breaking stuff was also evident as his changeup generated a bad swing here and there, and his slider (sometimes referred to as a curveball for him) flummoxed batters entirely.
On one occasion, Urias even flashed a nasty side to him as he brushed back a hitter with a fastball before then coming back on the next pitch and striking the batter out. There was a lot to love with Urias’ Triple-A debut, and the Dodgers have to be thrilled with it. Very few strenuous pitches, great results, excellent command, and a general knowhow. If no one told you he was still 19, you’d guess Urias was 23 and on the verge of a major impact.