Alex Wood allowed nine runs (seven earned) over just 4.2 innings and the Dodgers bats were not able to help him as the Braves beat the Dodgers 12-3, handing Los Angeles back-to-back losses for the first time since June 6. Braves’ starter Jaime García hit a Grand Slam and threw seven innings of three-run ball as Atlanta handed Wood his first loss of the year.
Even though we knew that Wood is human, it came as an unpleasant surprise when he allowed nine runs over 4.2 innings. What was even more surprising, however, is that he gave up a Grand Slam to García, the pitcher.
“Didn’t have command like normal, I didn’t execute and they have a quality lineup,” Wood said of his former team. “They didn’t help me out a whole lot. It was a tough one.”
The game went down hill before it could even go up. Ender Inciarte led off the game with a single, then scored on Johan Camargo‘s RBI double. Wood recorded two outs after that, but then he hung a curveball to Tyler Flowers. Flowers hit it into left field and Camargo scored, making it 2-0 in the first.
Wood held the Braves scoreless in the second and third innings, but a costly error in the fourth made it 4-0. After striking out Flowers, Wood allowed a single to Nick Markakis before walking Sean Rodriquez. Dansby Swanson then flew out to right field and the runners advanced to second and third. That brought García to the plate. He popped the ball up along the first base line and Wood was the only person who was able to see where the ball was. He got under it but the ball bounced off his glove in fair territory. Both runners scored and the Braves led it 4-0.
Just when it seemed like it couldn’t get any worse, the Braves scored five more runs in the fifth inning. Freddie Freeman led off the inning by hitting the fifth straight fastball that Wood threw over the left field wall for a home run. Former Dodger Matt Kemp then followed with a single, then Flowers walked before Markakis grounded out. Dave Roberts then decided to intentionally walk Rodriquez. Wood then struck out Swanson, bringing García to the plate with two outs. Once again, the pitcher was not an easy out. García hit a fastball from Wood over the right field wall for a Grand Slam. García helped his won cause by giving himself a 9-0 lead.
The Braves tacked on three more runs in the sixth inning on a three-run home run by Tyler Flowers and the Dodgers were only able to score three runs in the game. The Braves handed Wood his first loss and the Dodgers lost back-to-back games for the first time since June 6, part of a season-high three-game losing streak.
Keys To The Game:
Too Much Pitching, Not Enough Catching:
Alex Wood has spent much more time working on his pitching than on his catching. Usually, this is what you want for a pitcher, but it proved costly on Friday night when Wood was unable to catch a popup that would have ended the fourth inning. Instead, two runs scored on the error. Usually, the first baseman or catcher will catch the popups, but neither Grandal or Bellinger could find where the ball went.
“Cody just lost it, I think,” Wood said. “Dark sky and it can be tough at night, sometimes. I looked at the last second to see if anybody was coming, I heard [Yasmani Grandal] yelling my name. In retrospect, you won’t see me trying to catch a fly ball anymore.”
Julio Teheran will take the mound for the Braves in game three of the four game series and Rich Hill will look to get the Dodgers their first win of the series. Teheran, who’s road ERA is 2.53, has struggled against the Dodgers, with a record of 0-5 and an ERA of 5.50 in six starts against the Dodgers. July has been good to Hill, who is 2-0 with an ERA of 0.95 in three career starts this month. Hill is 3-0 with an ERA of 1.89 in his career against the Braves, but the last time he faced them was in a relief appearance in 2013.