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Dodgers: MLB Analyst Talks About What Turned Julio Urias Dominant



When the Dodgers secured the final out of their first World Series clincher since 1988, the guy on the mound likely wasn’t someone many would have expected heading into the season. The feel-good, perfect ending to the story would have had Kenley Jansen striking out the last batter on a 94mph cutter high and away in the zone. Instead, 24-year-old Julio Urias was on the bump punching out 4 of the last 7 Tampa Bay Rays he faced to end it.

The same Julio Urias that sent the Dodgers to the World Series with his NLCS game 7 dominance over the Atlanta Braves a week before.

The Mexican-born left-hander dominated all postseason long in a bevy of roles for LA. In his 6 appearances, the club went 5-1 while he allowed just 3 earned runs over 23 innings pitched. While his regular season was fine (1-0, 3.27 ERA), it wasn’t without its challenges.

In a recent discussion on MLB Network, analyst Tom Verducci pointed to a mechanical change implemented by the team that set Urias up for a phenomenal stretch run in October.

You really have to give the Dodgers’ coaching staff — especially Mark Prior — a lot of credit here. [Urias] threw 1,215 pitches this year. The fastest pitch he threw was the last out of the World Series. Now how did they get there? A key change that Mark Prior made in September. The problem was, when he started his delivery, he kept over rotating his shoulder, so he was never consistent pitch to pitch. So Mark Prior said, ‘why don’t we go to the stretch position all the time?’

Tom Verducci on Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias

From then on, the Julio we saw punch out Willy Adames on 3 fastballs took it to another level. In his final 8 outings including the postseason, Urias had a 1.56 ERA in 34.2 innings. His strikeout rate climbed while baserunners struggled to get aboard. It was a minor change that produced drastic results. And the result that took a monkey off the back of the franchise.

NEXT: Julio Urías and His Strong Postseason Show He Has Finally Arrived

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. Urias has demonstrated what a dynamic pitcher he has become. The duo of Urias and Buehler will bring several successful seasons for the Dodgers. The addition of May, Gonsolin, Gonzalez, White, Gray, Santana means the Dodger pitching is in good shape for the future.
    Plus the Dodgers according to most MLB sites drafted 1-3 exceptional arms in 2020 depending on what site you read.
    The Dodger’s commitment to young talent shows in that pitchers like May were low draft choices and yet have progressed at a high rate. Gray is another pitcher that is progressing according to Gray fasrter because of the elite Dodger organization.

  2. Sorry but the only “feel good” situation regarding Jensen is to thank him for many good years of service and not have him on the roster for 2021. Time has passed him by. Maybe some other team can show him how to backup his catcher.

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