A groundball off the bat of Brendan Rodgers ended the fifth inning on Tuesday night. It also officially closed the door on Julio Urías and his incredible 2022 campaign.
After allowing two runs in five innings, Urías finished his season with a 2.16 ERA, good enough to lead the entire National League. Not only did Urías become the eighth pitcher in Dodgers history to win the ERA title, he became the first Mexican pitcher in baseball history to win the ERA title.
After winning 20 games last year, Urías followed it up with an even better season. His name will certainly be in the Cy Young Award conversation over the next few months.
Will he win the prestigious award? That remains to be seen. Whether or not the voters think he had the best season among NL pitchers, Dodgers fans can easily recognize the incredible 2022 campaign that the 26-year-old lefty had.
In 2021, Urías won 20 games and posted a 2.96 ERA. He finished seventh in Cy Young voting. He followed that season up by posting a better ERA, ERA+, WHIP and opponents average.
“It’s incredible,” Urías said to the media when asked about winning the ERA title. “You always have goals at the beginning of the season. To reach those goals is something you want to do as a competitor. Last year, winning 20 games and this year to win that ERA title is something really special.”
With the exception of three games, scoring runs off Urías was extremely difficult for opponents in 2022. He allowed two runs or less in 26 starts, which led all of baseball among starters who threw at least 175 innings. He had 21 starts in which he allowed one run or fewer, which led the National League.
Over his final 14 starts of the season, Urías posted a 1.27 ERA. He didn’t allow more than two runs in any start during that stretch.
Everyone in Los Angeles knows that Urías will be in the Cy Young conversation. When comparing his numbers to Sandy Alcantara, the presumed frontrunner, Urías leads in most categories. For the Miami starter, he has a clear advantage in innings pitched and fWAR, which might be the difference maker in the voting process.
“That’s out of my control,” Urías said when asked about his Cy Young case. “My job is to go out there and perform. Whatever people say, that’s for everyone to pick and choose what they want to talk about. I feel like I’ve been doing my job every fifth day. The focus now is on the postseason.”
Awards nowadays are extremely difficult. Every voter has a different statistic that they prioritize over another. For some, maybe it’s ERA. For others, maybe it is innings pitched.
“Obviously I’m biased, but he gets my vote,” manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s been an ace for us all year long. The consistency and performance. I still value earned run average. There’s going to be a lot of fun debating going on. He’s backed up a great year with another great one.”
Whether or not Urías gets recognized by voters, his 2022 season is one of the best we’ve seen from a Dodgers starter over the last few decades.