The matchup: Dodgers vs Rockies (6.07.16)
Special Guest: My buddy Johnny. (See if you can spot us in the crowd back when DeAndre Jordan destroyed Brandon Knight.)
Snacks: Stella (thanks, Marc!), Dodger Dog (x2).
Giveaway: Today’s gift was seeing Julio Urias make his Dodger Stadium debut.
Memorable Moment: About the only thing that could top seeing Urias’ debut would be a walk-off home run and that’s exactly what we got. Thanks, Trayce!
RECAP: All eyes were on Julio Urias for this one but those who arrived early were treated to getting to watch Clayton Kershaw go through his bullpen session. As I entered the stadium, a heavy thump was emanating from the Dodger bullpen. A dozen more steps and that thump began to sound all-too-familiar.
This was the scene when I joined my friends Marc and Leslie at the Bullpen Overlook.
Clayton Kershaw works out in the bullpen in anticipation for Friday night’s showdown with Johnny Cueto in San Francisco.
Well hello there, Mr. Cy Young/MVP winner.
Must have been a good workout if A.J. led with a fist bump from so far away.
Clayton and A.J. getting a head start on Best Friends Day.
Either they’re making plans for dinner or Clayton is busting A.J.’s chops about something.
Once Kershaw wrapped up his workout, the Bullpen Overlook cleared out for all five minutes. Fans entering the stadium wasted no time in staking out spots to wait for the arrival of Urias and my buddy Johnny soon joined us. He’s a Yankee fan for life but is appreciative of the Dodgers’ efforts so he’s always a good time at a game.
This was the swarm around the bullpen an hour before game time.
Then it happened. Fans’ expressions went from bored to OMG faster than Maury Wills running the bases.
That moment when a 19-year-old phenom walks onto the field.
Julio Urias had arrived.
Julio Urias and Yasmani Grandal make the walk to the Dodger bullpen.
No pressure, kid. No pressure.
No turning back now.
Urias heads to the bullpen mound.
Gotta get those Chatsnaps.
“Hey, guys. What do you think of my new chest protector? Guys?”
El brazo de oro. He’s gonna be a good one.
If photos of Urias aren’t doing it for you, here’s a video that I shot because I’m the kind of nerd who just had to bring along three cameras.
(The random voice you’ll occasionally hear is me talking to people who were watching the Periscope I was also doing.)
I may have a problem.
Time for Urias to go to work.
Once on the mound, the third time was the charm for Urias. He may have only went four innings on 86 pitches but he gave up just one run on three hits and struck out seven of the 17 Rockies he faced.
Following a slightly tense (sorry, won’t describe it as rocky) first inning, Justin Turner got the Dodgers on the board and helped my fantasy team with a three run shot that gave Urias his first lead of his young career and it seemed to settle him down in the following innings. A big positive is that he didn’t unravel when Nolan Arenado doubled home DJ LeMahieu in the third. He promptly erased that threat by striking out some Carlos Gonzalez fellow to end the inning.
After years of anticipation, Julio Urias made it to the big club.
The Dodger bullpen was another story. After Louis Coleman and Adam Liberatore combined forces to hold down the fort for an inning, Joe Blanton and Pedro Baez got the Rockies back into the game.
With the score tied at three with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Rockies manager Walt Weiss called on Carlos Estevez to face Trayce Thompson. As Estevez threw his warmup pitches, our conversation shifted to how many extra innings we’d be willing to sit through on a Tuesday night.
Two pitches later we were jumping out of our seats as Thompson hit a line drive just over the left center field wall.
It was a great night to be at Dodger Stadium.