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Julio Urias looks to bounce back after rough month

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He owns an ERA of above 6.00 over the last month

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

About a month ago, Julio Urias was making a case for being an All-Star. On May 23, he took a perfect game into the sixth inning in San Francisco and it was third start over his last four in which he was pretty much dominating.

Ultimately he allowed a hit and some runs, but his campaign still looked strong. Through Urias’ first 10 starts of 2021, he was 7-1 with a 3.03 ERA. In 62 13 innings he had 70 strikeouts compared to only seven walks. It looked as if he was finally going to be taking a step in the next direction as a starting pitcher for LA.

Fast forward a month later and Urias is coming off arguably the worst month of his big-league career. Over his last five starts, he’s posted an ERA of 6.31. After allowing only 21 runs to score over his first 62 13 innings, he’s allowed 18 runs to score over his previous 25 23 innings. His strikeout numbers are down and his walk numbers are up, and opponents are hitting .317 off of him.

In his last start, Urias allowed six runs in four innings against the Padres. Following the game, manager Dave Roberts was asked if he’s seen anything different from his starter over the last month that has led to his struggles.

“No, I really can’t,” he said. “Certain starts, it’s been the fastball command but I don’t think there’s one particular thing that’s led to the inflated ERA.”

Although it’s been only 88 innings, this is already the biggest workload Urias has dealt with in a season at any point in his career. He threw 77 innings back in 2016, with his previous career-high being 79 23 in 2019.

“I don’t see fatigue,” Roberts said when asked if that could be a problem. “I think the stuff has held. Certainly the results recently haven’t mirrored the stuff. We’re monitoring it each outing. I think the breaking ball, changeup and fastball have been good. He’s also held velocity. There’s nothing that’s spoke to a shutdown or us skipping a start.”

Hopefully Urias can bounce back nicely tonight against the Cubs. Their offense could be good for him to face, as they strikeout a lot and don’t really hit for average at all. However, something for him to be cautious about is the long ball. He’s already allowed 13 homers this season, and as we’ve seen this series the Cubs can strike any at-bat for a homer.

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