Urias allows 3 runs in 2 2/3 innings in big league debut
NEW YORK (AP) Julio Urias lasted just 2 2/3 innings in his Los Angeles Dodgers debut, when he became the first teenage starting pitcher in the major leagues since Seattle's Felix Hernandez in 2005.
The 19-year-old left-hander struggled with his control and the strike zone of plate umpire Dan Bellino, falling behind 3-0 in the first inning against the New York Mets. He left after throwing 81 pitches to 17 batters, and he allowed five hits and four walks while striking out three.
Urias started 13 of 17 batters with balls, including his opening five and nine of his first 10.
Wearing striking white glasses and making theatrical jumps over the third-base line, his debut drew comparisons to the early Dodgers days of fellow Mexican pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, who joined Los Angeles as a reliever in 1980 and sparked ''Fernandomania'' as a brilliant starter the following season.
''Naturally, that's the comp, but to compare to anyone to Fernando and what he did after you look at the impact he made on the Mexican community as well as the Dodgers and baseball in general is unfair,'' Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said before the game.
Signed by the Dodgers in August 2012 after the team saw him while scouting Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig, Urias has been treated tenderly in the minor leagues, where he never threw more than six innings or 89 pitches in any start. He had surgery late last May to remove a benign mass that had caused a droopy left eyelid, causing him to use the glasses.
His progress through the minor leagues got him recognition throughout baseball.
''Nobody gets called to the big leagues at 19 unless you're really, really good,'' Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Urias was 4-1 with a 1.10 ERA in seven starts and one relief appearance this season from Triple-A Oklahoma, striking out 44 and walking eight, and had thrown 27 consecutive scoreless innings when the Dodgers announced Thursday he would start in place of Alex Wood, who was pushed back in the rotation because of a triceps injury.
Urias became the first teenager to play for the Dodgers since Valenzuela and the youngest starting pitcher since Dick Calmus in 1963.
''He's got four legit pitches. That's more than I have now,'' Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw said. ''He's got the really hard slider that just shows his aptitude, can learn it in a spring training, and then his curveball still is there, too.''
But the Mets' Dwight Gooden in 1984 remained the only teenage starting pitcher in the last 42 years to win his big league debut.
Urias started Curtis Granderson with an inside 90 mph fastball, allowed a long foul and caught him looking with a 94 mph fastball on the high, outside corner.
Asdrubal Cabrera doubled to deep left and advanced on a wild pitch, and Urias got Mets captain David Wright to swing past a 95 mph fastball.
Yoenis Cespedes walked, and Neil Walker reached down for a curveball and doubled to left. With Urias' arm speed slowing for a changeup, Juan Lagares followed with a two-run single to center that boosted the lead to 3-0 and prompted a trip to the mound by pitching coach Rick Honeycutt.
Kevin Plawecki singled, ending an 0-for-17 slide, before Eric Campbell lined to left for the inning's final out.
Urias pitched a hitless second around a walk to Granderson and retired the first two batters in the third before loading the bases on a single and two walks.