Julio Urías opened his 2021 campaign on April 4 with a one-run, seven-inning gem at Coors Field that was arguably the best start of his career. On Tuesday at T-Mobile Park, just three starts later, Urías managed to outdo himself.
Facing the Mariners, Urías was in top form, striking out a career-high 11 batters while working seven scoreless frames in a 1-0 Dodgers victory. It was the most strikeouts by a Dodgers starter so far this season, and it surpassed his previous personal high of nine, achieved on April 18, 2019, in Milwaukee. Those seven innings tied his season debut for the longest outing of his career.
An exceptionally sharp Urías induced a season-high 17 swings and misses, nine of which came on his sweeping curveball, before exiting having thrown 88 pitches (68 strikes). He allowed only two baserunners: a walk to Kyle Lewis, the second batter he faced, and an infield single to Mitch Haniger in the third. With an exit velocity of 53.9 mph, Haniger’s single was the weakest-hit ball off Urías and had an expected batting average of .060.
The Dodgers needed every bit of that effort, as their offense’s recent slump extended into yet another game. They managed only one run on two hits and four walks. In its last four games, Los Angeles has totaled eight runs.