Braves @ Dodgers July 21, 2017: Alex Wood to start a new streak

(Via)

The Dodgers had their 11-game winning streak last night behind a strong performance by Mike Foltynewicz and some timely offense by the Braves.

Braves
Dodgers
7:10 p.m.
Los Angeles
CF
Inciarte
LF
Taylor
2B
Camargo
SS
Seager
1B
Freeman
3B
Turner
LF
Kemp
1B
Bellinger
C
Flowers
2B
Forsythe
RF
Markakis
CF
Hernandez
3B
Rodriguez C Grandal
SS
Swanson
RF
Puig
P
Garcia (L)
P
Wood (L)

So, the Dodgers turn to their stopper to end this losing “streak” and get them back on track.

Alex Wood is facing his former team for the second time since the big 13-player trade two years ago. The first time was in Atlanta April 19, 2016, when he allowed seven hits, six runs (three earned) over four innings. But, as we all know, he’s an entirely different pitcher now than he was before.

Wood has gone six or more innings in each of his last five starts (6.6 IP/GS) and is on the cusp of being among qualified pitching leaders. Barring anything unforeseen, he should get there in his next start and should be at or near the top in ERA and FIP. You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.

What’s more impressive is he’s averaged nearly seven innings per start on just 89 pitches in those starts. He’s been really efficient and the Dodgers should soon start prepping for how they’re going to handle him in the postseason. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Dodgers limited his pitch count for the remainder of the season while hoping he stays efficient. He’s averaging 86.6 pitches per start this season, so he should be good for 100 come October, if needed.

The lineup tonight is a little interesting. Austin Barnes had been getting starts against left-handed pitching of late, but Yasmani Grandal gets the nod tonight. That might be partly because the Braves were rumored to be sending Jaime Garcia to the Twins, but that hasn’t been officially announced just yet. But, Enrique Hernandez still gets the start in center field over Joc Pederson. Shrug. The rest of the lineup is pretty status quo.

——

Sure, why not. If Adrian Gonzalez can come back and be healthy, he’d be quite the pinch-hitter and/or designated hitter in the World Series. But there’s no way he supplants Cody Bellinger now. Chris Taylor and/or Logan Forsythe could see their playing time reduced if Gonzalez draws starts against right-handed pitching upon his return.

Speaking of potential pinch-hitters/World Series DHs … but seriously, I feel a little bad for Andre Ethier. Without his injuries the last two years, though, we might not know who Taylor or Andrew Toles are, and Bellinger wouldn’t have been promoted so soon.

Speaking of Tolesy:

Obvious statement: That’s good to hear.

Ooh, sounds sexy. Scott Kazmir is still trying to make a comeback. With a year left on his deal, it makes sense. Still, it’s best not to expect much from him this season.

Ivan Vieitez, the Dodgers’ 27th-round pick in 2015, was not ranked on in my Top 100 this year or last. He wasn’t much of a prospect, even before this suspension. It sucks he got suspended for taking medication for ADHD, but MLB is pretty strict with their policy on drugs. He needed to get it approved.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.