Julio Urías Makes MLB History as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Game 7 Closer Against the Atlanta Braves

Julio Urías has etched his name into the annals of Major League Baseball history…

On Sunday night, the 24-year-old Mexican professional baseball player, a former child prodigy, pitched the Los Angeles Dodgers into the 2020 World Series.

Julio Urías

“It was his moment,” manager Dave Roberts said.

Urías entered the seventh inning of a tied game and retired the next nine Atlanta Braves batters in order, requiring only 39 pitches to do so. He blanked the over the final three innings of a 4-3 victory in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series in Arlington, Texas.

With that, the left-hander became only the second reliever to close out a winner-take-all game with at least three no-hit innings. The other: Pedro Martinez in his famous six-inning performance in Game 5 of the 1999 American League Division Series for the Boston Red Sox against the Cleveland Indians.

It was Urias’ second win of the series, the first coming only four days earlier, when he threw 101 pitches in a Game 3 start.

His fastball touching 96 mph, he recorded his first three outs on only 10 pitches.

The quick seventh inning positioned Urías to earn the victory when Cody Bellinger launched a 94-mph sinker by Chris Martin into the right-field stands in the bottom of the inning.

Urías responded by navigating through the middle of the Braves’ order in the eighth inning. Their best hitter, Freddie Freeman, worked a nine-pitch at-bat, but Urías ultimately made him line out weakly to center field.

In Roberts’ mind, there was little question about who would pitch the ninth inning.

Kenley Jansen had pitched in each of the two previous games. This was Urías’ game to finish.

“I trust him,” Roberts said.

Urías forced Ozzie Albies to ground out. He made Dansby Swanson do the same. And when his changeup was lazily golfed to center field by Austin Riley, Urías raised his arms skyward.

Bellinger caught the fly ball, prompting Will Smith to approach the mound in celebration. Urías slapped Smith’s chest protector and embraced the catcher.

In the immediate aftermath of the victory, NLCS most valuable player Corey Seager marveled at Urías’ composure.

“That was his moment right there,” Seager said. “That was his game to win, and he went out and did it.”

Baez Named National League Championship Series Co-MVP

Javier Baez has etched his name in the MLB history books…

The 23-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball infielder for the Chicago Cubs has been selected as a National League Championship Series co-MVP alongside starter Jon Lester on Saturday night, after leading the Cubs to their first NL pennant since 1945.

Javier Baez

Baez hit .318 (7-for-22) with five RBIs against the Los Angeles Dodgers, picking up right where he left off in the division series.

The versatile Baez also made a couple of the most exciting plays in the NLCS, stealing home during Chicago’s victory in the opener and robbing Adrian Gonzalez of a hit with a terrific, bare-handed scoop in Game 5 on Thursday night.

“Just having fun,” Baez said. “Living my dream, playing like a little kid, moving everywhere, catching the ball and making plays.”

Next up for Baez and the Cubs: the World Series against Francisco Lindor and the Cleveland Indians, beginning Tuesday night in Cleveland.

Baez and Lindor are part of a dynamic group of young players from Puerto Rico that also includes Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa.

Baez “grew up in Puerto Rico, played a lot of baseball as a youth, played a lot of winter ball,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He’s been taught properly and well. And when he goes out there, man, you saw him before the game sitting on the bench, saw him waving into the camera. He’s just being himself. I love that.”

Lester and Baez became the first NLCS co-MVPs since Cincinnati Reds relievers Rob Dibble and Randy Myers in 1990.

The Cubs grabbed Baez with the ninth overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft. He made his major league debut in 2014 but really turned into a consistent force this year, batting .273 with 14 homers and 59 RBIs while playing several different positions.

Baez Makes Chicago Cubs History in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series

Life’s a steal for Javier Baez

The 23-year-old Puerto Rican Chicago Cubs second baseman stole home in the second inning of Saturday’s National League Championship Series game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, becoming the first Cubs player to do so in the postseason since 1907.

Javier Baez

Baez reached second base on a hustle double and advanced to third on a wild pitch before stealing home.

With pitcher Jon Lester at the plate, Baez ventured off third base as Lester turned to bunt. Lester took the pitch, and catcher Carlos Ruiz immediately threw to third base, trying to catch Baez napping.

Instead, Baez took off for home, beating third baseman Justin Turner’s throw back to Ruiz and scoring the Cubs’ third run of the game.

Baez is the first player to steal home in any postseason game since Elvis Andrus in the 2010 American League Championship Series.