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Julio Urías and Dodgers struggle, drop season-opening series to Rockies

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There was no shortage of issues for the Dodgers to handle Sunday afternoon.

Following their 9-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies — which cemented their first collection loss at Coors Area since 2018, and their first defeat in a season-opening collection since 2013 — there have been loads of questions within the clubhouse.

Beginning pitcher Julio Urías had a troubling season debut. He suffered a drop in velocity from final season. He didn’t strike out a single batter. And he gave up six runs (three earned) in two-plus innings.

The protection additionally struggled for a second straight day, digging the staff into an early three-run gap within the first inning after Chris Taylor misplaced monitor of a fly ball within the wind.

The offense underwhelmed as soon as once more, as nicely. Regardless of racking up 10 hits, the Dodgers struggled to capitalize within the clutch, going two for 9 with runners in scoring place and stranding seven males on base.

“We didn’t play good baseball,” supervisor Dave Roberts stated.

Certainly, this was not the beginning the uber-talented Dodgers had been anticipating. After profitable Friday’s opening day contest, their losses Saturday and Sunday had been marred by sloppy play within the discipline, inconsistency on the mound, miscues on the bases and an surprising energy outage on the plate.

“I believe it was a bunch of issues compounded immediately,” Taylor stated. “So we positively have so much to enhance on.”

Sunday’s sport bought away from them early.

Freddie Freeman hit right into a double play within the high of the primary inning. Justin Turner bought doubled-off at first base on a line drive within the second. And through the half inning in between, Taylor’s error within the outfield allowed the Rockies to leap in entrance.

Dodgers catcher Will Smith waits for a throw as Colorado's Ryan McMahon slides into home.

Dodgers catcher Will Smith, proper, waits for a throw as Colorado’s Ryan McMahon slides into residence plate through the first inning Sunday.

(David Zalubowski / Related Press)

With two on and two outs, Urías bought Ryan McMahon to hit a seemingly easy fly ball to left. As Taylor went again on it, nevertheless, the top-spinning drive was pushed towards the infield by a brisk, cool wind. Taylor stopped and tried to lunge ahead on the final second however couldn’t get his glove on the ball.

“It was a type of balls that I form of anticipated to slice, and it didn’t actually slice and form of stayed at me the entire time,” Taylor stated. “It simply form of died on me.”

One run scored because the ball dropped in entrance of Taylor, then one other following an off-target relay throw from shortstop Trea Turner. An at-bat later, McMahon scored on Randal Grichuk’s single, saddling Urías with three unearned runs to start the sport.

“It was a play that clearly he is aware of that he ought to have made,” Roberts stated of Taylor. “And he didn’t.”

Urías had troubles of his personal quickly after. Regardless of stranding a leadoff single within the second, the left-hander got here unglued within the third. He walked the leadoff hitter, Brandan Rogers, then hung a curveball that CJ Cron hit for a two-run residence run.

Urías lasted solely three extra batters, plunking McMahon with a pitch and strolling Grichuk earlier than Elias Diaz lined a 90-mph fastball to proper for an RBI single. When Roberts got here to the mound for a pitching change, Urías had but to document an out within the inning.

“He simply didn’t appear in sync from pitch No. 1,” Roberts stated.

Probably the most troubling a part of Urías’ futile debut was his drop in velocity. After averaging 94.1 mph on his four-seamer throughout a breakout 2021 marketing campaign, the pitch sat at simply 91.4 mph Sunday. Urías’ different pitches additionally had a lower in velocity.

Urías insisted he bodily feels tremendous, and Roberts says he believes the speed drop — which additionally plagued his ultimate exhibition begin — is a byproduct of the lockout-shortened spring coaching.

Each the pitcher and supervisor agreed it wasn’t the one trigger for his outing Sunday.

“I simply noticed him not likely commanding something,” Roberts stated.

Added Urías, via an interpreter: “I might throw 100 miles per hour and the outcomes would have been the identical, as a result of the execution was poor.”

The Dodgers had been handed a lifeline within the high of the fourth. Taylor put them on the board with a sacrifice fly. Then Rockies left fielder Kris Bryant misplayed a fly ball of his personal with two outs and the bases loaded, letting a drive from Freeman bounce off his glove to permit three runs to attain.

The remainder of the afternoon, nevertheless, was crammed with missed alternatives.

Trea Turner grounded out to finish the fourth, stranding Freeman at second. Within the sixth, the Dodgers had runners on the corners with one out after a stroll from Cody Bellinger (who had his first two hits of the season Sunday) and a base hit from Taylor (a part of his two-for-three day), however didn’t carry both of them residence.

The lineup didn’t handle one other baserunner, making 12 straight outs in opposition to reliever Ty Blach to finish the sport.

“I might count on us to have the ability to construct innings and rating some runs from the fifth inning on,” Roberts stated when advised the Dodgers scored just one run after the fourth inning within the collection. “That’s a shocking stat.”

And, fittingly, it was one other miscue that allowed the Rockies to place the sport away within the seventh.

With two outs, Freeman booted a high-bouncing grounder at first. Within the subsequent at-bat, Diaz hit a two-run residence run off Evan Phillips — guaranteeing the primary weekend of the Dodgers season wouldn’t be a profitable one.