Julio Urías hit hard as Dodgers lose to Giants, fall to third

Julio Urias hit hard as Dodgers lose to Giants fall
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The Dodgers listed 10 relievers on their lineup card Saturday. Not 10 pitchers, mind you. Ten relievers.

They all sat there in the bullpen for the first hour of the game, and then some, watching as the San Francisco Giants turned Saturday into one of the worst days in the career of Julio Urías.

He gave up more hits Saturday than he ever had. He was hit often, and he was hit hard. Hit after hit, run after run, and all the relievers sat there.

The Dodgers’ game plan was Urías pitching deep into the game. The Dodgers stuck to their game plan, and in the meantime the Giants piled on the runs en route to what turned out to be a 11-6 victory.

Urías gave up 11 hits, including hits to eight of the first 15 batters. Of the first 12 batters, the only outs: a sacrifice bunt by the opposing pitcher, a 102-mph flyout, a diving catch by left fielder Matt Beaty, and a strikeout when Austin Slater swung at a pitch closer to his batting helmet than to the strike zone.

When Urías missed the strike zone, he could miss by plenty. He walked off the mound after what he thought was a third strike when it was not. He did not back up home plate.

Urías is a very good pitcher, and this day soon will be forgotten as one of those days. But the Dodgers refused to rescue a clearly struggling pitcher, putting themselves in a five-run hole.

Max Muncy and Albert Pujols would later hit home runs — Pujols tied Babe Ruth for fourth place on the all-time list of extra-base hits — but the hole was too deep.

By the time the game was done, the Dodgers had given up a season-high 16 hits and fallen back into third place in the National League West, one game behind the Giants and 2 1/2 games behind the first-place San Diego Padres.

Cody Bellinger, activated from the injured list Saturday after rehabilitating a hairline fracture in his left leg, played in his first game since April 5 and went hitless in four at-bats.

The Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger, who was out for nearly two months because of a hairline fracture in his left leg, flies out in the first inning in his first game back.

(Michael Owens / Getty Images)

There are days, of course, when a bullpen is weary and a starter is expected to pitch deep into the game, no matter what.

The Dodgers had hoped to get at least six innings from Urías on Saturday. They had used five relievers on Friday, seven in a bullpen game Thursday.

However, Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen were the only relievers to pitch in both games. No one else made even 20 pitches Friday, and David Price and Edwin Uceta were the only ones to do so Thursday.

The Giants' Mike Yastrzemski scores on Dodgers catcher Will Smith's error after a single by Evan Longoria on May 29, 2021.

The Giants’ Mike Yastrzemski scores past Dodgers catcher Will Smith after a single by Evan Longoria in the fourth inning. Smith was charged with an error. Umpire Manny Gonzalez looks on.

(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

If Treinen, Jansen and Price were unavailable, that would have left seven relievers. None of them stirred until after Urías had given up his 11th hit. It was the fourth inning.

Urías lasted five innings in all, tying a career high by giving up seven runs. He batted for himself in the bottom of the fifth, striking out. The Dodgers finally called upon a reliever, Phil Bickford, to start the sixth.

They used four in all, exposing the soft underbelly of a bullpen with Treinen and Jansen unavailable and Brusdar Graterol, Corey Knebel, Scott Alexander and Jimmy Nelson on the injured list. Still, they had 10 relievers on the active roster Saturday.

Urías batted for himself because the Dodgers had a short bench. They had a short bench because of all those relievers.

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