Clayton Kershaw didn’t have it today at Dodger Stadium, allowing more than three earned runs for the first time since last July. The way this team is going, any time Kershaw is less than Koufaxian is going to make for a pretty difficult mountain to climb, and they of course could not.
Adrian Gonzalez did connect for a two-run homer, his second dinger in two days, and he’s been unstoppable this weekend — over the last two games, he’s been on base eight times with two longballs. But Gonzalez drove in all three Dodger runs, and other than Carl Crawford — who doubled twice & walked — and Juan Uribe, who smacked another double, there was little worth discussing.
So if you’re wondering why the Dodgers lost, it was because Kershaw was less than stellar and because guys like Mark Ellis, A.J. Ellis, & Andre Ethier did little. (Don’t get too excited by Dee Gordon drawing a walk, either; it was an intentional pass.) Then again, it’s been a rough few days for A.J., who got run over by Jon Jay on Friday and then took a heater from Shelby Miller off his left wrist. According to Bill Shaikin, it looked “swollen” and he’s visiting a doctor after the game, though he did of course stay in.
Of course, the biggest story of the game came not from California, but Michigan, where 16-year-old prospect Julio Urias somewhat surprisingly made his professional debut for the Loons today. Urias went just three innings, but struck out six while allowing only two hits — including whiffing the side in the first inning.
Last September, I posted a report from a reader named Tom about his experience speaking to Logan White at the Baseball Prospectus Dodger Stadium event, and Urias’ name came up:
At the very end of his question-answer session, he mentioned that the Dodgers just got a letter of intent from a 16 year old Mexican pitcher that throws 94 MPH, Julio Urias. He seemed reluctant to say it at first, but then acted kind of giddy and shared about the kid anyway.
It’s not unheard of for a 16-year-old to be playing in the complex leagues — Pittsburgh prospect Luis Heredia did just that in 2011, in fact — but it’s extremely rare for a player that young to be seen in A-ball. There have been a few examples of players that age or younger, like Joe Nuxhall or Bobby Doerr, but mostly decades ago. I honestly don’t know the last time this has happened, so I’ll need to do some research on that. At the very least, it’s clear that the Dodgers are extremely high on Urias to start him in the Midwest League immediately.