LOS ANGELES — Tuesday night’s game had so many twists and turns, I wanted to revisit some of the notes and fun facts from the Dodgers’ 4-3 win over the Pirates.
Julio Urias allowed just one hit in his 6⅓ innings, the longest start of his professional career. At 20 years, 270 days old, he was the youngest pitcher to allow zero or one hit in a start of six or more innings since Ed Correa of the Rangers on Sept. 29, 1986.
Just imagine how good Urias’ start might have been if he had more than just his fastball working!
“He really had no secondary pitches,” catcher Yasmani Grandal said after the game.
“It goes to his ability to make pitches, and says a lot about his poise on the mound,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Certain guys have a way to limit damage and find ways to win, and other guys don’t have that ability. Julio does have it.”
Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect 10th inning for the win, striking out two batters. He’s up to 25 strikeouts and no walks on the season, with just 49 batters faced.
Jansen’s 51% strikeout rate ranks third in MLB among pitchers with at least 10 innings, behind only Tommy Kahnle of the White Sox (53.9%) and Craig Kimbrel of the Red Sox (52%).
In eight of Jansen’s last nine appearances, he has two or more strikeouts. The only game during that stretch that saw Jansen strike out fewer than two batters was Apr. 30 against the Phillies.
Jansen faced just one batter in that game. He struck him out.
Ross Stripling took Roberts’ pregame words to heart, that he would eventually pinch run in Tuesday’s game.
“I spent the whole time in the dugout, the whole game,” Stripling said. “It’s like he knew something was coming.”
Stripling was on first base when Austin Barnes hit the game-winning double. Stripling thought the ball was hit at right fielder Gregory Polanco, so he was only thinking about going first to third before he saw third base coach Chris Woodward waving him home.
“I know Ross is fast, but being on the bases as a pitcher probably isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world,” Barnes said. “But he got around the bases.”
“How fast can Ross Stripling run?” asked Joe Davis on the SportsNet LA call of the final play. “Fast enough!”
As far as I can tell, Stripling is the first Dodgers pitcher to score the game-winning run in a walk-off win since Sandy Koufax on Aug. 14, 1965. Koufax walked with two outs in the 10th inning against the Pirates, then advanced to second on another walk. Jim Gilliam hit a ball to right field, where Roberto Clemente made an error, allowing Koufax to scamper home for the game-winner.
Koufax’s run earned him the win, after striking out 12 in his 10 shutout innings. It was one of three starts for Koufax in 1965 that lasted at least 10 innings.
Stripling also scored as a pinch runner in the 10th inning on Apr. 27 in San Francisco, and plated the first of four runs in a rally that saw the Dodgers beat the Giants, 5-1. The Dodgers didn’t have a player score twice as a pinch runner at all in 2016.
Stripling is the first Dodgers pitcher to score twice as a pinch runner in a season since Don Sutton in 1970. The last one to score more than twice as a pinch runner was Carl Erskine, who scored five times as a pinch runner in 1955.
Eriskine was used 11 times as a pinch runner in 1955, including once in the first inning.
In a pinch
Barnes was the last position player remaining on a short Dodgers bench, and would have caught had the game continued past 10 innings. But his double ended the game, continuing a nice run for Dodgers pinch hitters.
Chase Utley doubled as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning, and Franklin Gutierrez struck out in the eighth.
On the season, Dodgers pinch hitters are hitting .333/.413/.500 and lead baseball in hits (22), doubles (five), and walks (nine). Dodgers pinch hitters are second with 12 RBI, one behind the Nationals.