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Dodgers imperfect game a perfect representation of their mediocre season to date

Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago Cubs Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Julio Urías had his worst, and shortest, start in several months, and the Dodgers offense laid an egg in a 13-0 loss to the Cubs on Friday afternoon that further taxed a the Los Angeles bullpen and provided a tangible display of how it’s felt like the Dodgers have played to start this season.

The Dodgers ace needed 86 pitches to record only 10 outs, exiting in the fourth inning for his shortest start since July 10, 2022, also against the Cubs.

Cubs left-hander Drew Smyly had no such problems, taking a perfect game into the eighth inning and retiring his first 21 batters faced. Smyly struck out six Dodgers in a row at one point, and fanned 10 in the game.

His bid for perfection ended with a David Peralta dribbler up the third-base line that Smyly fielded but was promptly run over by catcher Yon Gomes. This is how the Dodgers got their hit on Friday.

Urías was heading south from the jump, with an especially taxing opening frame.

Aside from the rarity of two walks in the first inning from Urías, who walked 44 batters in his previous 35 starts, there were two mistakes in the opening frame. First came by home plate umpire Andy Fletcher, who missed a clear strike on a cutter that would have struck out Seiya Suzuki. Second was four pitches later, when a Urías fastball caught far too much of the plate and Suzuki made it hurt with a two-run double.

The 31 pitches in the first inning matched a season high for Urías, who also did so in his last start, last Sunday against these same Cubs in the fifth inning at Dodger Stadium.

Chicago tacked on after that, with Nick Madrigal tripling into the left field corner then scoring in the second inning, then Cody Bellinger and Trey Mancini hitting back-to-back home runs in the third.

Bellinger has homered in each of his last three games against the Dodgers, dating back to last Sunday when he also hit one off Urías.

Urías allowed five extra-base hits on Friday, one shy of his most given up in any start, when he got torched for six extra-base hits against the Phillies last year on May 14.

One night after Michael Grove left after just three innings with a right groin strain, Urías lasting only 3⅓ innings on Friday did the Dodgers bullpen no favors. Five Dodgers relievers combined for six scoreless innings in the series-opening win on Thursday night. On Friday, a pair of newcomers were asked to soak up what was left after the Urías mess. It did not go well.

Jake Reed, called up earlier on Friday, got the final two outs of the fourth inning, but then faced six batters in the fifth without retiring a single one. Patrick Wisdom’s three-run home run was the big blow of that was a seven-run inning, six charged to Reed.

Andre Jackson followed, and allowed a three-run home run that scored the two runners left behind by Reed. Jackson allowed two runs himself, but also pitched three innings to at least get the Dodgers to the eighth.

Luke Williams, who started at shortstop, pitched the eighth, the first Dodgers position player to pitch this season. Naturally, he pitched a 1-2-3 inning.


  • After a two-inning start against the Cubs last July 10, Urías allowed 17 runs in 17 starts, for a 1.31 ERA before last Sunday’s loss to Chicago in Los Angeles. In his last three starts against the Cubs, Urías allowed 13 runs in 11 innings.
  • Chris Taylor played the final three innings at second base then third base, after the Dodgers trailed 12-0, his first time in the field or at the plate since hurting his left side on Monday.
  • With Williams pitching the ninth, Mookie Betts got to play another inning at shortstop, where he fielded a ground ball cleanly. Jason Heyward played first base, his first time at the position in his career. Friday was Heyward’s his 1,594th major league game.
  • The Dodgers shutout loss was their worst since 2018, when they lost 14-0 to Houston. It’s the 20th time since 1901 the Dodgers have been shutout and allowed at least 13 runs.
  • The Dodgers are 1-6 in games started by left-handed pitchers, losing the last six after beating Madison Bumgarner on April 1. Two of those losses are to Smyly.
  • The Dodgers have not won consecutive games since a three-game streak from April 3-6.

Friday particulars

Home runs: Cody Bellinger (5), Trey Mancini (2), Patrick Wisdom (9), Nico Hoerner (1)

WP — Drew Smyly (2-1): 7⅔ IP, 1 hit, 10 strikeouts

LP — Julio Urías (3-2): 3⅓ IP, 7 hits, 5 runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts

Up next

Dustin May gets the call for the Dodgers on Saturday afternoon (11:20 a.m. PT, SportsNet LA), facing Cubs rookie right-hander Hayden Wesneski.