Dodgers Open Up Series in Philly


Jul 21, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Alex Wood (40) delivers a pitch to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter in the sixth inning of their game at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

With some help from the Atlanta Braves last night, the Dodgers (60-45) open up their road trip with a three game lead over the Giants in the west. They send newly acquired Alex Wood to the hill to take on the Phillies (41-65) and Jerome Williams.

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Like Mat Latos on Sunday, Wood is looking to impress his new employers in his Dodger debut. Wood hasn’t pitched in a game since last Monday, when he held the Orioles to two hits in seven 1/3 innings before the bullpen lost the game for him. He should be used to pitching against his former NL East rival, as this is his seventh career start (12 appearances total) against the Phillies. Wood is 3-2 in his career against the Phillies, where he holds a 3.07 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 44 innings. His numbers are even better in his six appearances (four starts) at Citizens Bank Park, where he holds a 2.42 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 26 innings.

Wood has had a down year, and I was going to go in depth about it before I saw that Daniel Brim of Dodgers Digest did it better than I could have. Wood could project as a great LOOGY out of the bullpen long term, but even his down year is pretty solid. His numbers across the board are worse than they have been in his previous two years, but a 3.54 ERA (3.41 FIP) is still not horrible. He’s given up more walks and fewer strikeouts than he has in his career, and a .343 BABIP against suggests there could be room for improvement.

He’s kind of getting eased into his role with the Dodgers, as they face the Phillies and Williams. The Dodgers took three of four from the Phillies in LA in early June, but didn’t face Jerome Williams. To say Williams has been bad this season is a bit of an understatement. In 16 starts, Williams has a 3-8 record and a 6.36 ERA (5.58 FIP). His FIP and xFIP are both miles ahead of his ERA, but still not very good. The Dodgers SHOULD be able to beat him up. Which means he’s guaranteed to go like seven innings of one-run ball.

Pretty normal lineup for tonight, with Alex Guerrero getting the start at third for the injured Justin Turner. Despite being in his 13th season, Williams has only faced seven current Dodgers in the past. Alberto Callaspo and Jimmy Rollins each have eight plate appearances against Williams, which are the most on the team.

After getting a couple days off against the Angels, Joc Pederson is looking to right the ship. He’s struck out three times in three consecutive games and has struck out in every game in which he’s had an at-bat since July 20.

This game also marks Rollins’ first career game at Citizens Bank as a member of the opposing team. Rollins won four Gold Gloves, was a three time All-Star and won the NL MVP in 2007 during his 15-year Phillies career.

Before the game, the Dodgers also activated C A.J. Ellis from the 15-day DL. C Austin Barnes was sent to AAA.

First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 PM PST and the game will be shown on Sportsnet LA.