Painful HR trot for Urías in his old haunt

April 20th, 2021

couldn’t savor his trip around the bases, but another night of brilliant Brewers pitching made it a successful homecoming, nevertheless.

Urías, the onetime Padres prospect playing in San Diego for the first time since he was traded away, hit one of the Brewers’ three solo home runs in a 3-1 win on Monday night at Petco Park. But he had to leave the game when he felt cramping in his right calf during his trot.

Under normal circumstances, that might qualify as a minor annoyance. For the Brewers, it was cause to get Urías out of the game, since , and are already on the 10-day injured list and they could ill afford to lose their starting shortstop, too. Manager Craig Counsell didn’t rule out Urías returning to action when the series continues Tuesday night.

“I kind of hit it and I told myself, ‘You got this one.’ It felt pretty good,” Urías said. “And then I kind of saw their right fielder going after the ball and I wanted to go harder. That’s when I felt it.” 

Urías added, “I mean, to be honest, I didn’t even enjoy it.”

Talk about tough timing. It should have been a big moment for the 23-year-old, who had been looking forward to playing against his former team since the Padres traded him to the Brewers just before Thanksgiving in 2019.

"I know Luis was looking forward to coming in and playing here,” said , who overcame a tough opening inning to pitch the first six frames of the Brewers’ two-hitter. “I'm sure he's got a ton of buddies on that side, but it's always nice to come in and kind of stick it to them, I guess, a little bit, kind of get that big home run. That was big for him.”

and also hit solo homers for the Brewers, representing welcome production from two of the outfielders who are picking up playing time with Yelich and Cain out. That was enough run support for Woodruff and relievers , and . Woodruff shook off a 28-pitch first inning to deliver another beauty.

After Jurickson Profar worked a 10-pitch walk to begin Woodruff’s night and Jake Cronenworth singled, Woodruff faced 20 more batters and surrendered no hits. Over six innings he walked three batters, struck out seven and allowed one run on a groundout from Tatis, Urías’ old friend from their San Diego days.

“I would say for me it’s kind of like a new team,” Urías said before the game of the rebuilt Padres. “The only guys that I still talk to would be Fernando [Tatis Jr.], Adrian [Morejon]. It’s not too many guys. It was amazing to share the years in the Minor Leagues with a player like [Tatis]. It was uplifting, and it was fun. It was a blessing coming up with that team. I’m really grateful for the opportunity that I had.” 

The trade has been lopsided in San Diego’s favor so far. The Padres got outfielder Trent Grisham, who won a Rawlings National League Gold Glove Award last season, and Zach Davies, who had a 2.73 ERA in 12 starts for the Padres before they traded him with four prospects to the Cubs for right-hander Yu Darvish and catcher Victor Caratini.

The Brewers got left-hander , who has pitched only four regular-season games for Milwaukee and didn’t make the ’21 team out of Spring Training, and Urías, who was limited in ’20 by a broken hand and by COVID-19, but is finally getting to play on a regular basis this year. 

Urías is batting .175 but leads the Brewers with 12 walks. The Brewers cemented Urías as their starting shortstop when they traded Orlando Arcia to the Braves for pitching two weeks ago.

“I would say it really helps [playing every day],” Urías said. “I feel like it kind of slows everything down. When you’re not having a lot of playing time, it can go fast, you know what I mean? But it’s been helpful, that I know I can fail and just tell myself, ‘It’s OK to fail. You’re going to get it next time.’”

He got one in his first at-bat on Monday. Urías hit the first pitch of the third inning from Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove for an opposite-field home run that tied the game at 1-1. Urías was the first right-handed batter to get a hit this season off Musgrove, who had held righties 0-for-22 with 10 strikeouts to start the year, including strikeouts of and before Urías came to bat Monday.

“When you get traded from a team, you want to say you made a mistake,” Counsell said. “I think that’s natural. It’s what you should feel as a player. And even if you say you don’t, there’s still a little bit of that in you.”