Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
One constant criticism Dave Roberts has faced throughout much of his tenure as Los Angeles Dodgers manager center around pitching decisions, and that’s involved Julio Urías in particular this season.
On May 3, Urías was removed at just 65 pitches despite scattering four hits and holding the San Francisco Giants scoreless through six innings. “I felt the stuff was good, but I thought they were taking some good swings off of him,” Roberts explained at the time.
“There was some hard contact in there and I felt that part of the lineup again, give them a different look with bringing in Brusdar gave us a good chance to win and also keep Julio in line for his next start.”
Then in Urías’ next outing, he was allowed to start the bottom of the seventh despite having given up one run and 10 hits. Urías surrendered a leadoff home run and was immediately removed. Roberts said the decision to stick with Urías was matchup-based.
On Friday night, the eighth-year manager reverted back to a more conservative approach. Roberts explained that was from Urías being scheduled to make his next start on regular rest and not because of a pitch count, via SportsNet LA:
“No, not at all. I think for me, and I’ve talked to him, it’s about managing the lineup the third time through. I think the last couple times he’s done a nice job. Didn’t do it tonight because he’s going to be on regular rest the next turn. So I think the familiarity with the Phillies, just the recency and knowing he’s going to be on regular (rest), I just felt there was no upside in pushing him an extra inning tonight. But it’s not a pitch count for Julio.”
Urías turned in a strong performance at Citizens Bank Park, allowing just two hits and collecting five strikeouts without issuing any walks. He threw 80 pitches over five innings.
The start was much improved from Urías allowing a career-worst four home runs to the Phillies at Dodger Stadium last week. His previous career high was three homers, given up on June 2, 2016, as a rookie.
Philadelphia hit three of their home runs on a curveball, with the other against Urías’ changeup. The May 14 start also saw him set career-worst marks in runs allowed (eight) and extra-base hits (six).
Urías had better command and results with his pitch mix on Friday. He didn’t allow a baserunner until Roman Quinn’s two-out single in the third inning.
Roberts, Urías in ‘lockstep’
When facing questions about his handling of Urías, Roberts assured he and the left-hander remain on good terms and there’s an understanding with the Dodgers’ decisions.
Despite Roberts denying Urías being under a limit, the Dodgers have not allowed him to throw more than 82 pitches in any start this season.
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