When Julio Urias stepped onto the mound on Friday afternoon, the aura was oozing forth from him. The first three batters he faced all went down on strikes — one looking and two swinging. He looked untouchable; a wunderkind in control. And then the Los Angeles Dodgers prized left-hander got introduced to baseball the hard way.
In the second inning that he pitched, Urias failed to actually record an out. In succession, he gave up a single, double, triple, and walk before getting yanked out of the game. As brilliant and dominant as the first inning he pitched was, the second inning was equally as horrific and cataclysmic.
“I had trouble with the command of my fastball,” Urias, 19, said through an interpreter. “The first inning, my adrenaline was flowing and I pitched well. I tried to relax in the second inning, take a few deep breaths but it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to work out.”
Once the command of the fastball breaks down, everything else starts to break down along with it. It’s the pitch that all other pitches flow off of, so you can understand the struggles that he experienced on the mound once that one pitch started to fail him. But you have to love the way he talks about it.
Urias is a very intelligent kid who has a monumental future ahead of him. One bad inning in a Spring Training game at 19 years old is not going to derail his career. The first inning showed you his promise, the second inning showed you just how far he still has to go to reach it. And reach it he most likely will.