It was never going to be easy for a 19-year-old to make his MLB debut on the road in New York City against last year’s National League Champions. Mexican prospect Julio Urías struggled right out of the gate, giving up three runs in the first inning. Though that’s not to say signs of hope didn’t exist.
It started off with a ball to Curtis Granderson, then a foul ball that would have easily been an extra base hit. Then another ball. Three pitches bad enough to rattle any 19-year-old. But Urías settled down, and three pitches later, he struck Granderson out. After giving up a double and advancing the runner on a wild pitch, he also struck out David Wright. But after striking out Wright, he wasn’t able to consistently place his pitches well enough, and the experienced New York Mets took full advantage.
However, even during his inconsistent start he showed that he can be special with excellent placement on some of his pitches. His first at-bat was better than his first pitch, as he reached base on an error, although the team kept the ball as a memento just in case it turned out to be scored as his first hit.
Manager Dave Roberts had no choice but to sit Urías with the bases loaded and two outs in the second inning, and the Dodgers did manage to make it out of the inning without giving up any more runs.
Regardless of the result, it was a special night for Urías and his family, who traveled from Mexico to see his dream of pitching in the big leagues come true.
Interviewed during the broadcast by Alanna Rizzo, the proud parents talked about how special it was to see his first outing. His dad didn’t look too broken up about the rough start, because he knew it was always going to be difficult at this level.
In an interview with Dodgers Insider, Andrew Friedman, President of Baseball Operations for the Dodgers, didn’t get into specifics, but made it clear that the team is aware of the need to be patient with Urías, which means monitoring his pitches and innings. Roberts later specified that the pitch count would be 90, which meant Urías was more than a third of the way to that limit after just the first inning. One tweet summed up his night.
Though Urías did get his ERA down to about 10 by the end of his night, so hopefully he can avoid the dreaded chancla.