Julio Urias Has High Praise For Dodger Stadium Crowd After Opening Day
Opening Day was Julio Urias’ day… well night. For the first time in his career, the longtime Dodger took the mound on Opening Day in front of a sellout Dodger Stadium crowd. Since it was a Julio night, the Dodgers, as they always do, had the mariachi band going. They had the special walkout music for Urias, who became the second Mexican-born pitcher to ever start on Opening Day for the Dodgers. I’m assuming you can guess the first.
“The closest thing to Fernando [Valenzuela] is Julio Urias,” the recently retired Dodgers broadcaster Jaime Jarrin said. “No question about it.”Bill Shakin, LA Times
Ahead of the start, Dave Roberts talked about the “cult following” that Urias has when he pitches.
“When Julio is pitching, there is that extra ramp-up of excitement, joy, fire, Roberts said.”Bill Shakin, LA Times
Urias felt it, as he took the mound on Opening Day, and threw six dominant innings, allowing just two runs, four hits and striking out six en route to a Dodgers 8-2 victory over the Diamondbacks.
“It’s an unforgettable experience,” Urias said about pitching on Opening Day for the Dodgers. “Something like that with a team like this, the history that the team has, and all the people that have done this before. It was just something that was really special to me, and obviously being able to send the fans home with the victory is a blessing.”Bill Shakin, LA Times
The Dodgers have embraced Urias’ Mexican heritage, truly making him feel at home when he takes the mound every five or six days at Dodger Stadium. It also helps that a huge portion of LA’s fan base is from the Chicano community.
“I feel like I’m in Mexico when I’m here,” Urias said. “I couldn’t ask for more. I feel like I’m with my people. … You feel that they’re with you every five, every six days.”Fabian Ardaya, The Athletic
Urias is, of course, a free agent at the end of this season. It’s unclear whether he and his agent, Scott Boras, will entertain any extension talks before the offseason. It’s not often a superstar pitcher enters free agency at the age of 27, and he’s one of the best starting pitchers on the market.
He’s sure to have his fair share of bidders, but Jarrin, for many reasons, doesn’t want to see him leave LA.
“The reaction of the community would be negative, really, because they love him,” Jarrin said. “It would be bad if he leaves the Dodgers. … For the team. … For the community. For him, no, because even though I am sure he loves the Dodgers, business is business. And, you know, Scott Boras is his agent.”Bill Shakin, LA Times
We have a long season to go before we have to start thinking about the offseason. But I think many Dodger fans are hoping this won’t the last time we see Urias get the nod on Opening Day in a Dodger uniform.
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