And though the 26-year-old left-hander might not acknowledge it, Roberts believes it has motivated his ever-astonishing — and increasingly Cy Young-caliber — 2022 campaign.
“His mentality is up there with some of the best that I’ve ever seen,” the Dodgers manager said. “To be quite honest, I think that Julio is using some of the lack of recognition as fuel. I think all players have some sense of what fuels them. And I believe this is part of his.”
However he has been perceived, Urías is becoming almost impossible to ignore, continuing a torrid two-month stretch on the mound with seven more strong innings Saturday night in the Dodgers’ 8-4 win over the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.
As the Dodgers lineup came to life against Padres starter Blake Snell and company — Freddie Freeman led the way with four hits and four RBIs, including a two-run homer, while Trea Turner tacked on a three-run double and Chris Taylor added an RBI single — Urías cruised through another confident, composed performance to help the team lower its magic number to clinch the National League West to four.
Urías completed seven innings for the fourth time this year, crossing the 150-inning threshold for the second consecutive season.
After a couple of walks helped the Padres load the bases in the first inning, he quickly settled down, finding a groove to retire 17 of his final 21 batters in an 83-pitch display.
He gave up a pair of Manny Machado solo home runs, but Urías barely yielded a well-struck ball to anyone else, finishing with as many strikeouts as hits surrendered (five each).
“He was outstanding,” Roberts said. “I’m having a hard time coming up with adjectives to describe him and what he’s done for us.”
The stats help paint the picture.
Urías maintained possession of the league lead in earned-run average, finishing…