After the Dodgers lost to the Nationals in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, Julio Urias spoke with media about unwravelling the 5th inning.
“I was ready to go in whatever situation,” Urias said through an interpreter. “I’ve done it before. I’ve pitched on back-to-back days. My mind was 100 percent ready. My arm was 100 percent ready. It’s just a situation where you can’t miss a lot of pitches and I missed a lot of pitches and I paid the price.” — via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register.
The price was definitely paid with a high tab to boot. The Dodgers were tied with the Nats at one run a piece while starter-turned-reliever Kenta Maeda was “rolling,” according to Jerry Hairston, Jr of SportsNet LA. Maeda came on in relief of Rich Hill in the 3rd inning. He recorded the final out of the inning and followed up with a clean 4th inning before giving way to pinch hitter AJ Pollock, which was another questionable move in it’s own right.
Dave Roberts explained his decision making process for taking out Maeda, but it just didn’t go the Dodgers way in that crucial 5th inning for Julio.
He served up a leadoff single to the speedy Trea Turner, who advanced on a bunt groundout by Adam Eaton. to lead off who then moved up to second on a sacrifice fly by Eaton. Anthony Rendon singled in Turner, Juan Soto popped out, and Howie Kendrick followed up with a another single to put runners at the corners.
That was it for Julio. Roberts turned to Pedro Baez who allowed a critical 3-run home run to veteran infielder Ryan Zimmerman which blew the game open and lead to the series-tying win for Washington.
Sometimes in the postseason, moves plainly don’t work out. In this case, despite his claims that he was “100%,” Urias looked out of rhythm right out of the gate. Moreover, his velocity sat in the 93-94 range after touching 96-97 for better part of the summer.
Okay so pitching Julio Urias on consecutive days is a no moving forward
— OO7 (@LiamSahilBhakta) October 8, 2019
After recording 6 outs the night before, albeit on only 15 pitches, perhaps there was a better arm to turn to for the 5th inning.