Los Angles Dodgers pitcher and Sinaloa native Julio Urías is close to being crowned the most successful Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher of 2021, now on 19 wins after his team defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday. “El Culichi,” as he is known by fans, would be the first Mexican to hold that record.
Urías, 25, has a three-win lead over Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees and Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals, both of whom are tied for second.
The southpaw was born in Culiacán, Sinaloa, and moved to the United States in his youth after being scouted and signed by the Dodgers on his 16th birthday.
He has only lost three games so far this season, making him one of the most effective pitchers in MLB. He is also one of the best pitchers in MLB when it comes to hitting.
Urías said that given the choice, he would opt for honors in the pitching department despite his fondness for batting. “Obviously I like hitting. I’ve always talked about how much I like hitting,” he said.
“We have a competition among ourselves and it’s something that’s very important to me. I was able to contribute, which is really great … reaching 20 wins [as a pitcher] would be a dream come true and something I’m really striving for,” he added.
The pitcher has one more series to hit the 20 mark when the Dodgers face the Milwaukee Brewers on October 2. Then the Dodgers will face the San Francisco Giants in the playoffs.
Another Mexican pitcher won more games in a season than Urías’ 19, but fell short of being the best pitcher that year. In 1986, Fernando Valenzuela from Etchohuaquila, Sonora, racked up 21 wins with the Dodgers, but was edged out by Roger Clemens of the Boston Red Sox, who ended the season with 24 wins.
Urías was one of two Mexican pitchers who helped the Dodgers win last year’s World Series. He and Víctor González pitched in the Dodgers’ 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in the final game of the series in Arlington, Texas.
With reports from Infobae