Alex Wood finally conquered his pitching problems at Coors Field on Saturday night. He pitched six shutout innings and allowed five hits with ten strikeouts as the Dodgers beat the Rockies 4-0. Austin Barnes provided all the run support that Wood needed with an RBI double and Wood, Brett Eibner, and Justin Turner added insurance runs.
Wood fanned seven of the first thirteen batters he faced but also used help from his fielders. With his strange arm angle, it would make sense that Wood dominates lefties, but eight of his ten strikeouts came against right-handers. In fact, Wood is better against righties than lefties. This year, left-handed batters are hitting .205 against him while right-handed batters are hitting only .179.
Rockies’ stater Tyler Anderson was charged with three earned runs over 5.2 innings. He allowed five hits, including a home run, and struck out eight Dodgers. He got into trouble in the second inning, allowing two runs on two hits with a walk and a sacrifice bunt.
Kiké Hernández led off with a double, then after Cody Bellinger struck out, Barnes got a changeup over the plate and hit it over the head of Gerado Parra in center field. Hernández scored and Barnes drove in the first run of the game with an RBI double. Barnes then stole third base and Eibner walked putting runners on the corners with one out for Wood. Wood bunted the ball down the third base line and Barnes scored. The only problem with Wood’s bunt was that Nolan Arenado was playing third base. Arenado picked up the ball and threw Wood out, but the Dodgers had a 2-0 lead.
In the fifth, Brett Eibner got a fastball over the plate and launched a no-doubter over the wall in center field. Anderson knew the ball was gone and so did everybody else. The ball sailed into the forest behind center field and according to Statcast, 465 feet. It was the eighth longest home run in the Major Leagues this season.
Justin Turner added a run in the seventh inning against Mike Dunn. Chris Taylor was on first base with two outs and a 2-1 count on Turner. Dunn threw fastball in the middle of the zone and Turner hit it the other way down the right field line. The ball rolled to the corner and Taylor scored from first on an RBI double by Justin Turner.
Keys To The Game:
The Dodgers’ defense saved runs on Saturday night with amazing defensive plays. In the fourth inning, Justin Turner robbed Pat Valaika of extra bases with a diving play. Valaika hit the ball hard down the third base line, but Turner dove and picked up the ball, then he threw from his knees and Cody Bellinger picked it out of the dirt, robbing Valaika of a hit.
In the sixth, the Rockies had a runner on first base with Carlos González at the plate. González hit the ball hard down the first base line and right into the glove of Cody Bellinger. Bellinger then stepped on first base to complete the double play and get Alex Wood out of the inning with only three batters faced.
In the eighth, the Rockies had a runner on second base with two outs and Nolan Arenado at the plate. Arenado hit a hard line drive to the left side of the infield and Justin Turner dove and made the catch for the final out of the eighth inning. Arenado, who is constantly robbing players of hits, did not enjoy getting a taste of his own medicine.
Alex Wood held the Rockies scoreless through six innings, lowering his Coors Field ERA from 11.25 to 8.18. Left handed batters got more hits against him than righties, who struck out more. Wood did not settle for keeping the Rockies scoreless, as he also drove in a run in the second inning with a squeeze bunt. Overall, Wood had a big night and the Rockies were very frustrated.
Julio Urías will take the mound for the Dodgers in an attempt to win the four-game series and Antonio Senzatela will take the mound for the Rockies. Urías hasn’t allowed more than one run in each of his three outings this year, but is still searching for his first win. His only appearance at Coors Field came out of the bullpen when he allowed three earned runs and walked a batter. Senzatela will make the first start of his career at 12:10 pm PT. The game will be televised on SportsNet LA.