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.
“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.”