Dodgers’ Wood set to return for series finale vs. Padres
SAN DIEGO — The Los Angeles Dodgers have their sights set on splitting their four-game series with the San Diego Padres. But when Dave Roberts points his starter, Alex Wood, to the mound on Sunday, he’ll be thinking about Friday.
That was the day Roberts was hanging in the clubhouse when a burst of optimism penetrated the doors, wearing No. 57.
“Alex threw a side session on Friday and he came in really excited,” Roberts said. “He feels 100 percent.”
Wood (14-1, 2.41 ERA) has been on the disabled list since Aug. 22 with a sore shoulder. In a series in which ace Clayton Kershaw bounced back from the DL with a gem, the Dodgers hope Wood does likewise.
Roberts said the hiatus served two purposes.
“No. 1, we put that sore AC joint thing to bed by being able to rest that,” he said. “No. 2, he was able to step away and that curtails some innings for him.”
Wood, who is 3-1 lifetime against the Padres, has pitched 123 1/2 innings in his 22 appearances, 20 of which have been starts. That’s more than he has logged since hurling 171 2/3 innings with the Atlanta Braves in 2014.
Wood was bothered by a sore elbow previously in his career, and now with his shoulder obstacles, the Dodgers are trying to be cautious with the lanky left-hander.
“It’s worked in a lot of different aspects to his benefit,” Roberts said of Wood’s absence. “He’s excited and we are all excited. I think he is going to do well.”
Jhoulsy Chacin (11-10, 4.03) gets the start for the Padres in their final game before San Diego welcomes the St. Louis Cardinals in for a three-game series.
Chacin is hoping a turn of the calendar works in his favor after dropping three of his four decisions in six August starts.
With his only win last month coming Aug. 1, it has been awhile since a Chacin outing ended with handshakes.
Chacin was shaking his head after his first of four starts against the Dodgers this year. He got 10 outs but not before being charged with nine runs and eight hits.
But after that rocky showing on opening day, he is 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA against the Dodgers. Overall, Chacin is 10-8 lifetime versus LA.
What works for Chacin is pitching at Petco Park. He’s 7-3 in the Padres’ downtown digs and his 1.85 ERA was best home mark in the majors as of the start of play Saturday.
But he’s struggling with his aim of late and he hasn’t pitched into the sixth inning since Aug. 7. He gave up one run and two hits with four walks in five innings against the San Francisco Giants on Monday.
Chacin’s lack of efficiency is preventing him from getting deep into games.
“When you’re a starting pitcher, your job is to go six or more innings every time you pitch,” Chacin said. “I’ve been going five innings; that doesn’t work for me to win games or the team. I’m going to put too much on the bullpen.”