Rockies @ Dodgers June 23, 2017: Alex Wood takes on Rox in NL West showdown

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The first-place Dodgers (48-26) take on the Rockies (47-28) in a big weekend series at Dodger Stadium starting Friday night. The Dodgers will be vying for their eighth straight win as they continue to mash an obscene amount of home runs on this historic run. Memories of summer 2013 have been dancing around my head as I watch the 2017 version of the Dodgers, a youthful bunch of talented players hungry for the end prize. I’m just along for the ride.

The Dodgers collected 36 runs and 15 home runs against the woeful Mets during the four-game sweep, the most homers in a Dodgers’ series since the nineties. They have homered in 14 straight games, have hit multiple homers in six straight games and have 39 homers in June. It’s not even July yet, but the Dodgers’ bats are like firecrackers and their pitching is dominant.

Rockies
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
CF
 Blackmon
2B
Forsythe
2B
 LeMahieu
SS
Seager
3B
 Arenado
3B
Turner
1B
Reynolds
1B
Bellinger
LF
Desmond
 RF
Hernández
SS
Story
CF
Taylor
RF
Tapia LF Gutierrez
C
Murphy
C
Barnes
P
Freeland (L)
P
 Wood (L)

I look forward to every Alex Wood (7-0, 1.90 ERA, 2.15 FIP) start. All the talk is usually surrounding Clayton Kershaw, and rightfully so, but what Wood is doing needs to be heralded as well. Talking about Kershaw’s home run issue is tiresome. I would rather talk about how dominant Wood has been this season. He may have three less wins than Kershaw, but he has a better ERA (1.90), slightly better WHIP (0.92) and opponents are hitting .188 against him with two home runs allowed in 61 2/3 innings pitched. He’s averaging 10.51 strikeouts per nine innings with a 29.8% strikeout rate, both career-highs.

Wood faced the Rockies in Colorado back on May 13, a 4-0 Dodgers win. He pitched six scoreless innings against the Rox, striking out double digits (10) and walking one. Overall against the Rockies, Wood is 3-2 with a 5.59 ERA in seven starts. Five of those starts were at Coors Field. Ian Desmond and Nolan Arenado both have hit two home runs against Wood in the past, while Charlie Blackmon is 4-for-10 with 4 RBIs against the lefty.

Dustin wrote about Colorado’s excellent young pitching, who will be tested by the Dodgers’ offense this weekend. The Dodgers face Kyle Freeland, Tyler Chatwood and German Marquez in this series.

Freeland (8-4, 3.42 ERA, 4.62 FIP), making his 15th major-league start and third start against the Dodgers, is putting together a decent rookie campaign for Colorado. He’s coming off a win against the Giants, pitching one-run ball over six innings with three strikeouts and two walks. He’s only pitched as much as seven innings once in April, and his starts average just under six innings. He beat the Dodgers in his MLB debut on April 7, but he wasn’t involved in the decision on April 18 when he only went four innings. His 58.7 groundball percentage could be a hindrance again to the Dodgers’ offense who prefer hitting big flys.

The Rockies are in a bit of a slump and have lost their last two games coming into the series opener Friday. They’ve been very good on the road this year (25-13) and are tied with the Nationals for the best batting average in the NL (.274) and have the most hits (704) in the league. The Dodgers of course have been dominant at home (29-10 is the best home record in baseball), and they have the second-best winning percentage (.649) behind the Astros in the majors.

——

Corey Seager is back in the starting lineup, and Chris Taylor moves back to center field. Joc Pederson is not in the lineup against the left-hander. Franklin Gutierrez gets the start in left field, and Yasiel Puig sits in favor of Enrique Hernandez who starts in right field. Austin Barnes is starting behind the plate for the second straight game.

The Dodgers will have to go on without Julio Urias who will undergo left anterior capsule surgery on his shoulder Tuesday. Heartbreaking news.

While all that was going on, the Dodgers also made a roster move before the game. Ross Stripling was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City, and Chris Hatcher was placed on the 10-day DL with thoracic inflammation.

About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler
Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the Co-Editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation and Dodger Blue 1958. She currently contributes to The Hardball Times. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.