Urias to Make MLB History During Game 4 of the National League Championship Series

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18 Oct 2016 | Deportes

Julio Urias is ready to hit the mound while making history in the process…

The 20-year-old Mexican professional baseball pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers will start in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series on Wednesday against the Chicago Cubs.

Julio Urias

When he throws his first pitch, Urias will become the youngest postseason starting pitcher in Major League Baseball history, surpassing a mark previously held by Bret Saberhagen, when he took the mound as a 20-year-old in 1984.

Urias will be 20 years, 68 days old when he pitches in Game 4.

“Julio, I think that we expect him to just go out there and compete, use his pitch mix and go after these guys,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Give us a chance to win a baseball game. It’s what Julio’s done all year long.”

The Mexico native made his major league debut at the age of 19, when he took on the New York Mets in New York on May 27. It was a rough night, as he lasted just 2 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks.

Five days later, he made his first of two appearances against the Cubs and struggled again, giving up six runs (five earned) on eight hits in five innings at Wrigley Field.

Urias rebounded to go 5-2 in his rookie season with a 3.39 ERA in 18 appearances, 15 of them starts. Taking out those first two outings, Urias posted a 2.73 ERA. In his second matchup with the Cubs, at home on Aug. 27, he gave up one run on six hits in six innings while matching a season high with eight strikeouts. He earned his fifth victory of the season in that game.

He will enter Wednesday’s outing, though, having been used sparingly down the stretch. Urias pitched just 14 innings in September as the Dodgers curtailed his innings. They had originally decided to move him to the bullpen in an attempt to limit his innings, but he has been on hand as a fourth starter since the postseason started.

He was not asked to start in the five-game NL Division Series, although he did pitch two scoreless innings in the Dodgers’ Game 5 victory, earning a spot in the NLCS.

Urias has thrown as many as 100 pitches just once this season and reached the 90-pitch mark just four times. Roberts said he is less concerned with pitch count this time around and will primarily monitor effectiveness.

“I think that we’ve kind of monitored his usage throughout the regular season, but I think right now for me, it’s not necessarily the pitch count,” Roberts said. “A lot of it is the stressful innings, too. It’s going to be a big game. So if he’s throwing the baseball the way we expect, then I’m not afraid to push him to help us win a baseball game.”


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