The Dodgers turn to Julio Urias in their middle game against the Yankees on Tuesday night in New York, another spot start in a second half filled with intermittent flashes of brilliance.
Urias is 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA since the All-Star break, and is third on the club with 32 strikeouts in that span. Kenta Maeda (52) and Kenley Jansen (40) are the only ones ahead of him, in case you were wondering.
Tuesday’s start comes 10 days after his last outing, on Sept. 2 at home against the Padres, and continues a pattern of spot starts since mid-July.
Since the All-Star break, this will be the eighth appearance for Urias — six starts and a pair of long relief outings. Those games have been on 10 days rest, then 12, four (after a relief appearance), four (a relief appearance after a start), seven, five, five and now nine days rest.
Urias is at 113⅓ innings in total between the majors and minors in 2016, after throwing 80⅓ innings in 2015. It is unknown exactly how much he has left in the tank, or whether he will shift to the bullpen for the playoffs. But when he has pitched, Urias has given the Dodgers exactly what they needed, sort of their emergency fire extinguisher to at times help stabilize the rotation.
There was the six scoreless innings in Cincinnati when the rest of the staff combined for 9⅓ innings in three games. Urias also struck out eight to beat the Cubs while allowing one run in six innings. He hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a game since July 4, and has allowed four total earned runs in his last five games, including four starts, in 25 innings.
With 76 strikeouts under his belt already, Urias has the modern Dodgers record for most strikeouts in an age-19 season — Adonis Terry had 230 strikeouts in 476 innings at age 19 for Brooklyn in 1884 in the American Association, but I’m pretty sure they used to use moldy tangerines for baseballs in those days — with a chance to add some more on Tuesday night.
At 20 years, 32 days old, Urias will be the youngest Dodgers starter ever against the Yankees in New York, as noted by Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider on Monday. Urias will also be the youngest starter from any team at any version of Yankee Stadium since Ed Correa, who was 20 years, 3 days old for the Rangers on May 2, 1986.
Correa pitched a three-hit shutout, walking five with nine strikeouts.
While Urias makes his 14th start, Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia makes his 479th career start. Sabathia is 2-8 at home this season with a 5.28 ERA and 4.66 FIP, and 12 home runs allowed in 13 starts and 75 innings.
On the road Sabathia has also made 13 stats, with a 3.30 ERA and 4.17 FIP, with eight home runs allowed in 79 innings.
Dodgers (81-62) at Yankees (76-67)
Time: 4:05 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network