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Preview: Alex Wood Looks To Salvage Series For Dodgers



Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers fell for the second straight game to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday and now must shift their attention to the finale on Sunday, with an opportunity to end their six-game road trip at .500.

Making his second start for the Dodgers is Alex Wood. On the season, the southpaw is 7-7, with a 3.65 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. The 24-year-old has an FIP of 1.52, an ERA+ of 69, and a .288 opponent’s batting average. In his first start as a Dodger, Wood did not produce the results he would have liked to have seen. In 6.1 innings pitched, the pitcher allowed eight hits, two walks, and four earned runs in a loss. On a positive note, Wood did strikeout eight batters, which is the highest total Wood has had in any of his last 10 starts. The North Carolina native gets an opportunity to move on past the loss against a team he is very familiar with.

During his career with the Atlanta Braves, Wood faced the Pirates five times (four starts). In those games, Wood is 1-2, with a 2.57 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. Wood’s numbers do put forth some signs of success against the Pirates, as he has racked up 26 strikeouts in just 28 innings pitched, with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 5.20. Perhaps the biggest giveaway of Wood being confident coming into this start was his last start against the Pirates, which was also at PNC Park. On June 28, the third-year player threw 7.1 shutout innings, where he allowed only five hits, no walks, and struck out eight.

Taking the hill for the Pirates is Charlie Morton. On the season, the right-handed pitcher is 7-4, with a 4.19 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. The 31-year-old is coming off an impressive start against the Cincinnati Reds where he pitched 7.0 innings of shutout ball, only allowing fives hits and not allowing a walk in a victory. Coming into the game, the pitcher has a FIP of 4.20, an ERA+ of 88, and a .253 opponent’s batting average.

In his seven-year career, the New Jersey native faced the Dodgers once, back in 2010. In the start, Morton went six innings, allowing six runs and two walks in a loss. Also in the game, he surrendered two home runs.

There are a few Dodger players that have had success against Morton in the past. In the 2010 start, Andre Ethier collected one of the home runs in the game to go along with two RBIs. Jimmy Rollins is also 2-for-6 in his career against Morton.

The game was recently picked up by ESPN and Sunday Night Baseball, meaning that all fans can watch the game slated to begin at 5:00 p.m. PT.

Dodgers Lineup:

SS: Jimmy Rollins

2B: Howie Kendrick

1B: Adrian Gonzalez

RF: Andre Ethier

C: Yasmani Grandal

LF: Carl Crawford

3B: Alberto Callaspo

CF: Joc Pederson

P: Alex Wood

Pirates Lineup:

RF: Gregory Polanco

LF: Starling Marte

CF: Andrew McCutchen

3B: Aramis Ramirez

SS: Jung Ho Kang

1B: Michael Morse

C: Francisco Cervelli

2B: Neil Walker

P: Charlie Morton

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Written by Staff Writer

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