Sometimes all it takes is one game to kickstart a pitcher’s confidence going forward in a season. For the Marlins and their fans, let’s hope that this is the case for Ureña. After two horrendous starts to begin the 2019 season, Ureña was dialed in on Sunday against the Phillies.
Even though it resulted in an extra-inning loss, Ureña did his part with seven strong innings, allowing just one run on seven hits while striking out seven Philadelphia batters.
Ureña has bore the brunt of many jokes so far this year, the defacto “ace” in a rotation where each of the other young Marlins arms are showing more promise than him. For the first several weeks of the new season, many have doubted him moving forward in the teams organization.
After a decent spring training, Ureña got hit hard on Opening Day (4.2 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K) by a Rockies team that otherwise has had one of MLB’s least productive lineups. He was then rocked in the next two starts as well, giving up a combined nine runs against the Mets and the Reds.
It had been the case for the duration of Ureña’s career up to Sunday: performing poorly in the first month of the season. In fact, Ureña has never won a game in March/April. Last year in March/April, he was a combined 0-4 with an ERA reaching 15.28.
Marlins have never won a game started by José Ureña in March/April. 0-9 all time.— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) April 14, 2019
Thankfully, however, in the final game in their series against the Phillies on Sunday, Ureña was able to flash some of that potential we know he has.
José Ureña bounced back from an ugly first few starts by throwing lots of nasty two-seamers on Sunday pic.twitter.com/3w6O6yQdNk— Pitcher List (@PitcherList) April 15, 2019
Only giving up one run in the fourth inning, José was solid throughout, and perhaps this start is something that is going to kick Ureña into gear.
September of last season, Ureña’s stuff was absolutely electric, and he has the stats to back it up. In five starts, José went 5-0 and his ERA was an astounding 1.20. To consider him a part of their long-term plans, Miami is going to have to get the September Ureña more consistently.
Trevor Richards, Sandy Alcantara and Caleb Smith have all shown that they’re capable of pitching effectively and giving the Marlins what they want. Pablo López hopes to join the party Tuesday night against the Cubs. Ureña is going to have to get on their level.