The Reds (29-31) always seem to struggle in Los Angeles, and that continued last night against the Dodgers (37-25). Things went downhill quickly, as Amir Garrett gave up a two-run home run in the first inning and was hit in the hand by a line drive in the second, forcing him from the game. Cincinnati would go on to lose 7-2.
The team will get another chance to snap their seven-game losing streak at Dodger Stadium tonight. First pitch is again set for 10:10 p.m. ET.
Following a rough first start against the Blue Jays, Asher Wojciechowski bounced back nicely against the Cardinals on Monday, tossing six innings of two-run baseball and tying a career-high with six strikeouts. The Dodgers’ offense is much stronger than the Cardinals’, however, so he’ll need to be on top of his game again.
Wojo doesn’t have dominant stuff, but he’s throwing strikes, only walking three hitters in 14 innings. Although he likely won’t stay in the rotation once Homer Bailey and Brandon Finnegan return, he’s putting himself in the conversation to stay with the team in a relief role.
This will be Wojciechowski’s first career appearance against the Dodgers.
The Dodgers are activating Alex Wood from the disabled list to start tonight’s game.
The lefty has always had high potential, but health has held him back before this year. He missed most of last season with an elbow injury from swinging a bat and started the 2017 in the LA bullpen due to the team’s enviable pitching depth. An early injury to Rich Hill opened up an opportunity for Wood, and he ran with it.
When healthy, he has been among the most dominant pitchers in baseball this season, ranking first among starters with 40+ innings in xFIP and ground-ball percentage (68.7%), second in SIERA (2.61) and FIP (1.91), third in ERA, and fourth in K%. He was named the National League pitcher of the month in May.
A lot of his success is tied to throwing harder. Fully healthy, he’s averaging 92.9 mph on his fastball this season, more than two mph faster than last year (90.3). That’s made his other pitches more effective, particularly his knuckle-curve, with which he’s getting whiffs 20 percent of the time.
Random note: Wood has an interesting connection to two current Reds players. In 2015, he was involved in a three-team, 15-player trade that sent him from the Braves to the Dodgers along with Jose Peraza and Bronson Arroyo.
Here is how Reds players have performed against Wood:
|2B José Peraza (64 wRC+)||2B Chase Utley (96 wRC+)|
|SS Zack Cozart (167 wRC+)||SS Corey Seager (125 wRC+)|
|1B Joey Votto (162 wRC+)||CF Chris Taylor (151 wRC+)|
|3B Eugenio Suárez (127 wRC+)||1B Adrian Gonzalez (81 wRC+)|
|CF Scott Schebler (121 wRC+)||LF Cody Bellinger (121 wRC+)|
|C Devin Mesoraco (100 wRC+)||C Yasmani Grandal (107 wRC+)|
|LF Scooter Gennett (133 wRC+)||3B Logan Forsythe (71 wRC+)|
|RF Patrick Kivlehan (94 wRC+)||RF Yasiel Puig (88 wRC+)|
|P Asher Wojciechowski (5.18 xFIP)||P Alex Wood (2.40 xFIP)|
— Adam Duvall (illness) is out of the Reds lineup for a second straight day.
— The struggling Billy Hamilton is getting a day off.
News and Notes
Stat of the Day
The Reds have hit 87 home runs in 60 games, putting them on pace for 235 when all is said and done. The team record is 222, set in 2005. The club has also scored 301 runs thus far, putting them on a trajectory to cross home plate 826 times this season. That would rank as the fourth-most runs scored by the team in one year since 1900, trailing only the 1999 (865), 1976 (857), and 1975 (840) squads.
Hopefully the Reds will give fans a reason to stay up late and finish watching tonight’s game. The offense will have its work cut out against Wood, so another quality start from Wojo would go a long way toward snapping the LA losing streak.