For most people, Memorial Day weekend is the official start of summer. The boardwalks down the East Coast shores are officially open, we remember the great men and women who have served and are serving our country and baseball is in full swing.
This weekend in New York, the New York Mets will face the Los Angels Dodgers and there is sure to be plenty of pitching.
On Thursday afternoon, the Dodgers announced that starting pitcher Alex Wood has been scratched from his start on Friday against the New York Mets due to left tricep soreness.
His replacement? 19-year-old Julio Urias.
According to John Weisman of Dodgers Insider, “at 19-years and 289-days old, Urias, will be the youngest Major League pitcher since Felix Hernandez’s 2005 season with Seattle, the youngest Dodger pitcher since Fernando Valenzuela made his debut as a reliever in 1980 and the youngest Dodger starting pitcher since Dick Calmus on August 23, 1963.”
Urias is currently 4-1 with a 1.40 ERA with 44 strikeouts in 44 innings with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Urias is also the top left-handed pitching prospect in MLB and has not given up a run in 27 straight innings at the Triple-A level.
Urias will be opposed by Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom. Thus far in 2016, deGrom is 3-1 with a 3.07 ERA in 41 innings. Although velocity is down from 2015, deGrom has figured out a way around it and has pitched well for the Mets.
On Saturday, Mets ace Noah Syndergaard will take the mound. Syndergaard has been nothing short of sensational thus far pitching to a record of 5-2 and an ERA of 1.94 with 76 strikeouts in 60 innings.
The 23-year-old has the fastest fastball velocity among starting pitchers and averages the third fastest in all of baseball behind relievers Aroldis Chapman and Arodys Vizcaino who are first and second respectively.
Syndergaard will be opposed by 28-year old Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda. In his first big league season since coming over from Japan, Maeda is 3-3 with a 3.29 ERA in 52 innings.
Maeda signed an eight-year, $25 million, contract in January.
The series finale will take place at 8 p.m. on Sunday as part of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. The Dodgers will send left-handed ace Clayton Kershaw to the mound.
Kershaw needs no introduction as the 28-year-old is the best pitcher in baseball. With a 7-1 record, Kershaw leads the league in virtually every pitching category including ERA (1.48), strikeouts (95) and innings pitched (79). Kershaw has also allowed just 47 hits thus far.
Kershaw will be opposed by fan-favorite Bartolo Colon. Colon, 43, is 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA in 55 innings.