Struggling starters take mound when Padres host Dodgers

SAN DIEGO — Two pitchers who struggled in their most recent starts will be paired Tuesday night at Petco Park.

Left-hander Alex Wood starts for the Los Angeles Dodgers as they seek a second straight win against the San Diego Padres. Right-hander Bryan Mitchell starts for the hosts.

Overall, neither is off to a fast start.

Wood has an 0-2 record with a 5.09 earned run average in three starts — although opposing hitters are batting only .209 against him. He also has a 0.79 WHIP, allowing 14 hits and no walks with 10 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings.

The strange stat regarding Wood is that 10 of the 14 runners who have reached base against him have scored.

Mitchell is 0-2 with a 5.27 ERA in three starts. But his other numbers are not so good. In just 13 2/3 innings, Mitchell has allowed 15 hits and 14 walks — or a WHIP of 2.12.

But both are coming off bad outings.

Against the Giants last Thursday, Mitchell gave up three runs on four hits and five walks in three innings.

And against the Athletics last Wednesday at Dodger Stadium, Wood gave up seven runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Ironically, Mitchell’s last outing was his shortest start since he lasted only 2 1/3 innings against the Dodgers on Sept. 12, 1016, while pitching for the New York Yankees.

Mitchell’s problem has been his best pitch, the curve. It is his out pitch. But he has had problems throwing it for strikes.

“His curve is one of the best in baseball,” Padres manager Andy Green said recently. “But he’s struggled with his command of the fastball and his breaking ball.”

In his second start of the season, Mitchell didn’t allow a run on three hits over 5 2/3 innings. But he also issued six walks. In his Padres debut, Mitchell allowed five runs on eight hits and three walks over five innings without striking out a hitter. In fact, in 13 2/3 innings, Mitchell has three strikeouts against 14 walks.

Mitchell was acquired by the Padres to be a major part of their 2018 rotation. He came from the Yankees along with third baseman Chase Headley in large part because the Padres accepted Headley’s $13 million contract. For his part, Headley is off to a 1-for-26 (.038) start.

While Mitchell, who turns 27 on April 19, has only one previous outing against the Dodgers, the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Wood has seen considerable action against the Padres while with the Dodgers.

Wood, 27, has a 4-2 career record against the Padres with a 2.62 ERA in 12 games (eight starts) with 54 strikeouts in 57 innings. He was 2-1 against the Padres last season with a 3.15 ERA in four games (three starts) — giving up seven runs on 17 hits and eight walks with 17 strikeouts in 20 innings.

Wood has a 2-1 record at Petco Park with a 2.25 ERA in seven games (four starts). He has 35 strikeouts in 28 innings while pitching in downtown San Diego.