It seems that things are beginning to turn around for the Dodgers. They battled for a series split with a very good New York Mets club, and have won two of the first three games against the Cardinals in their current weekend series. They’ve won four of their last six home games and have even scored more than two runs in each of their last five games at Dodger Stadium. Perhaps miracles will never cease.
Scott Kazmir turned in a dominating performance in Saturday night’s 5-3 Kazified win over the Red Birds. This was Kazmir’s first good start since opening week. It’s very encouraging. The Dodgers are hoping that Alex Wood can keep the ball rolling against Mike Leake in the series finale.
Dodgers Lineup vs. Cardinals
Mike Leake-1-3 vs. Alex Wood-1-3
Game Time – 5:05 PM – TV-ESPN
Leake is not having a great season. The Cardinals signed him during the offseason to a 5-year 80 million dollar contract. The 28-year old right hander has not lived up to expectations. The San Diego native is 1-3 with a 5.10 ERA in his first seven starts. He’s allowed 9.1 hits per nine innings and has become prone to the long ball. He’s given up six home runs in 42.1 innings of work. He’s registered a 5.7 strikeout per nine rate and has posted a 4.57 FIP. All in all he has been very hittable this season. Leake has a large arsenal of pitches, but is primarily a sinkerball thrower. He also throws a curveball, changeup, cutter, and slider.
Leake has posted a 3-4 record with a 4.03 ERA in his career against the Dodgers. He is 0-2 with a 3.31 ERA at Dodger Stadium. He pitched well in his last start against the Angels. In that start he tossed eight innings of one-run ball allowing six hits and whiffing five as he picked up his first win of the season. Leake has had just one start where he has allowed less than one earned run. The current Dodgers have not hit him well though. They are batting just .207 (18 for 87) with a .575 OPS against him. Justin Turner is batting .500 (6 for 12) and Adrian Gonzalez has slugged two home runs.
Leake vs. Dodgers
The Dodgers will counter with Alex Wood. The left hander has pitched very well at Dodger Stadium. As a matter of fact, Wood’s home and road splits are shocking. At home, Wood has a 1.33 ERA and has allowed just three earned runs in 20.1 innings pitched. On the road his ERA is 8.05 and he has allowed 17 earned runs in 19 frames.
I don’t know why Wood struggles so much on the road, but he has been pitching better overall. He had a no-decision in his last start against the Mets, but allowed one earned run over 6.2 innings pitched. He struck out nine in that start and gave up just four hits. There is hope for the young left hander.
He has only faced the Cardinals once in one brief relief appearance. The Cardinals are hitting .211 (4 for 19) against him with no extra-base hits. Overall Wood is 1-3 with a 4.58 ERA in 39.1 innings pitched.
Wood vs. Cardinals
While the Dodgers are going for a sweep of the Cardinals, Hyun-jin Ryu will be making a rehab appearance for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. He’s scheduled to toss two innings and should make five starts until he builds up to 100 pitches before the club feels he is ready to be activated. This could be a huge help to the Dodger’s pitching staff. Ryu has always been a solid pitcher and he has been sorely missed. Ryu has not pitched since March of 2015, and has not thrown in a major league game since game 3 of the 2014 NLDS against the Cardinals.
Tonight’s game is televised on ESPN. That’s a huge bummer because it means that we get deprived from listening to Vin for a night. A sweep of the Cardinals would sure help us feel a lot better. Take a look at the standings in the NL West below. The Dodgers are still in first place, technically percentage points ahead of the Giants.
Remember that the broom depot will be open all afternoon and will be running their special discount on all Dodger sweep merchandise. Make sure to use the promo code SWEEPBIRDS when making your purchase to receive a 10% discount on all items.
National League West Standings