Dave Roberts removed Julio Urias from Thursday night’s start after 89 pitches and just 5.1 innings. He prevented Urias an opportunity to get a win in the game, essentially ending his chance at back-to-back 20-win seasons.
Evan Phillips ended up stranding the runner on the bases, and the Dodgers didn’t score in the bottom of the sixth anyway.
But questions were still raised about Roberts’ decision to not let his ace finish the inning himself.
Urias didn’t seem to mind the decision at all.
“It was a lot of pitches in that inning, or in that game, and he felt like that was the best decision for the team,” Urías said through an interpreter. “You’ve got to respect what he wanted to do. We’ve got a long way to go and think about the postseason. It was the best thing we could do for that situation.”
Urias knows that a somewhat meaningless game in September pales in comparison to keeping his arm fresh for October. If the Dodgers had scored in the bottom of the sixth, then you’d feel a little bad for Urias. But, at 89 pitches, Roberts chose to take his starter out at a pretty respectable time. Here’s what he had to say about the decision:
“Coming off his last outing, this (start) was on regular rest, the first time in quite some time. So to try to find a way to get two more outs in the inning where we had Evan looming in a matchup we felt good about, I didn’t see much upside in saying ‘he completed six innings.'”
Roberts went on to say that Urias has “been an ace for us all year long,” and he wanted to manage his workload with the postseason nearing.
Urias is expected to pitch two more times in the regular season before he’s almost certainly tabbed as the game one starter in the NLDS.
Do you think Urias should have remained in the game, or do you agree with Roberts’ decision? Let us know in the comments below!