Julio Urías retired all nine batters he faced on Monday, just like he did to close out Game 7 of the NLCS, and reasonably close to his seven-up, seven-down performance to close out Game 6 of the World Series, giving him a 1.17 ERA in the postseason. Only it wasn’t supposed to be that long today. But after a four-pitch first inning and an eight-pitch second, he was extended against Chicago.
“The plan was originally two innings, but then after my low pitch count they asked me if I wanted to go out for a third inning,” Urías said after his outing.
In all, Urías needed only 26 pitches to complete his three innings against Chicago, one less pitch than he threw last Wednesday to record two outs against Cincinnati.
“He was pounding the strike zone. In his last outing, he was just missing with the fastball,” manager Dave Roberts said of Urías. “Today, he located where he wanted to, and the change was good as well. Just a really clean outing for Julio.”
On offense the Dodgers scored early and often, plating three runs in the first inning on four singles and a walk. In the second inning, the big blow came off the bat of Corey Seager, whose three-run shot was his first home run of the spring.
After two walks to open the frame, Rick Monday on the SportsNet LA broadcast (on Monday, no less) accurately predicted what was coming, saying before the first pitch to Seager, “I would assume that there’s going to be a swing here if this pitch is anywhere close to the plate.”
Seager hit eight home runs in 18 games last postseason for the Dodgers, winning MVP of both the NLCS and World Series along the way. It was an extension of his best offensive season to date, hitting .307/.358/.585 with 15 home runs and a 152 wRC+, regaining his dynamic form of 2016-17 before injuries limited him the next two years.
He also singled and scored in the first inning on Monday, and is 5-for-13 (.385) with a pair of walks this spring.
“His body is working the way it’s supposed to work. He’s healthy. With his mechanics, when he’s right, he’s as good as anybody in the game,” Roberts said. “He stays in the strike zone, swings at strikes, takes balls. I see no reason why he can’t pick up where he left off.”
Jimmy Nelson makes his second spring start on Tuesday, a night game (5:05 p.m. PT start) in Goodyear against the Reds.