When Luis Urías departed his San Diego homecoming after only one at-bat, it was a “deep breath” moment for Brewers fans.
Christian Yelich, Kolten Wong and Lorenzo Cain are already on the injured list. However good Brandon Woodruff and the rest of Milwaukee’s starting pitching has been to start this season — including Woodruff’s six-inning, one-hit gem in a 3-1 win Monday night over the Padres at Petco Park — how many lineup losses can one team take?
The diagnosis sounded like an occasion to exhale.
Urías, the Brewers’ everyday shortstop, hit the first of the Brewers’ three solo home runs before leaving Monday’s game in the middle of the fourth inning because of cramping in his right calf.
It was a tough way to end an emotional night for the 23-year-old, who was in a familiar city facing a not-so-familiar team in the rebuilt Padres, who traded Urías to Milwaukee a few days before Thanksgiving in 2019.
“I would say for me it’s kind of like a new team,” Urías said before the game. “The only guys that I still talk to would be Fernando [Tatis Jr.], Adrian [Morejon]. It’s not too many guys. It was amazing to share the years in the Minor Leagues with a player like [Tatis]. It was uplifting, and it was fun. It was a blessing coming up with that team. I’m really grateful for the opportunity that I had.”
The trade has been lopsided in San Diego’s favor so far. The Padres got outfielder Trent Grisham, who won a Rawlings National League Gold Glove Award last season, and Zach Davies, who had a 2.73 ERA in 12 starts for the Padres before they traded him with four prospects to the Cubs for right-hander Yu Darvish and catcher Victor Caratini. The Brewers got left-hander Eric Lauer, who has pitched only four regular-season games for Milwaukee and didn’t make the ’21 team out of Spring Training, and Urías, who was limited in ’20 by a broken hand and by COVID-19, but is finally getting to play on a regular basis this year.
Urías entered Monday batting only .154 but led the Brewers with 12 walks. The Brewers cemented Urías as their starting shortstop when they traded Orlando Arcia to the Braves for pitching two weeks ago.
“I would say it really helps [playing every day],” Urías said. “I feel like it kind of slows everything down. When you’re not having a lot of playing time, it can go fast, you know what I mean? But it’s been helpful, that I know I can fail and just tell myself, ‘It’s OK to fail. You’re going to get it next time.’”
He got one in his first at-bat on Monday. Urías hit the first pitch of the third inning from Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove for an opposite-field home run that tied the game at 1-1. Urías was the first right-handed batter to get a hit this season off Musgrove, who had held righties 0-for-22 with 10 strikeouts to start the year, including strikeouts of Avisaíl García and Keston Hiura before Urías came to bat Monday.
Billy McKinney and Tyrone Taylor also hit solo homers for the Brewers.