Thursday’s game in St. Louis was bad. It was a bad look all around for a depleted team that’s in dire need of a day off. The Dodgers started their most grueling stretch of the season with an embarrassing 16-8 loss. While there was a decent comeback attempt with a Max Muncy home run getting things as close at 8-9 late in the game, the bullpen blew up, continuing a theme started by the starter, Julio Urias.
LA actually got out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning and held that into the third when Urias absolutely fell apart. He allowed 6 runs in the third inning, including 4 home runs. Cardinals hitters teed off on the left-hander, so much so it raised the question, was he tipping his pitches? Dodgers manager Dave Roberts wasn’t ready to confirm or deny the thought.
“I hate to discount what they did. It just seemed like they were on everything. Obviously, I know that hitting guy over there (former LA hitting coach Turner Ward). It’s something he prides himself on. (Julio) didn’t make good pitches. They were on everything. But I think we’ve got to clean our kitchen … as well and look into that. But I don’t know definitively.”
It’s not the first time the team has worried about a pitcher potentially tipping pitches this season, with reliever Andre Jackson actually found tipping last month in Chicago. But in Thursday’s case, it looked like more of a case of Julio just not having it.
For Urias, the start continues a trend of random blowups. And a pattern of serving up home runs. He’s allowed 14 so far this season, most in MLB, and he’s posting an uncharacteristically high 4.39 ERA through 10 starts.
“It’s obviously worrisome,” Urías said through a translator. “It’s one of those things where, I’m not hiding from it, but I got to do a better job.”
The Dodgers can ill afford continued struggles for someone like Julio Urias, but it’s magnified when considering the tough stretch the team is on schedule wise. The club has three more against a heating up St. Louis team before heading to Atlanta to face the NL East leading Braves. After that, they make a stop in Tampa Bay for three against the MLB-best Rays before coming home to welcome the Nationals in LA.
Urias would face the Braves next.