Preview: Alex Wood Makes Pushed-Back Start Against Cubs At Wrigley Field
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers escaped Citi Field with a series victory against the New York Mets, and now shift to Wrigley Field for the start of a four-game set with the National League-leading Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers have won nine of their last 12 games at Wrigley Field and face a Cubs team that’s riding a five-game winning streak, with the last three victories coming at home. The Memorial Day matchup is part of a full slate of day games, with a league-wide National Moment of Remembrance occurring at 1:51 p.m. PT.

After having his scheduled start pushed back due to triceps soreness, Alex Wood takes the mound on eight days’ rest. The southpaw seems to have found a groove and enters the game in the midst of a stretch where he’s pitched well.

In his previous start, Wood allowed two runs on four hits in six innings pitched against the San Diego Padres. He didn’t earn a decision, but set a career high with 13 strikeouts. Wood has gone at least six innings in his last three starts, while collecting a total of 27 strikeouts over that span.

The rise in punchouts stems from Wood adjusting his mechanics earlier this month to improve the timing in his delivery. Wood is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA and 1.43 WHIP in five career games (two starts) against the Cubs; none have come since he joined the Dodgers.

Wood is opposed by right-hander Jason Hamme, who has provided quality work at the back of the Cubs’ rotation. In his previous outing, Hammel faced the St. Louis Cardinals on the road and walked away with a victory.

In 7.1 innings pitched, Hammel allowed one run on four hits and had four strikeouts. Overall this season, the 33 year old is 6-1 with a 2.17 ERA, 3.37 FIP and 1.17 WHIP in nine starts (54 innings pitched).

Across 16 games (12 starts) against the Dodgers, Hammel is 2-6 with a 4.39 ERA and 1.52 WHIP. He twice faced the Dodgers last season, with a dominant outing at Wrigley Field and a forgettable one at Dodger Stadium.

He allowed just two hits over 7.2 scoreless innings at home, though didn’t earn a decision in the Cubs’ 1-0 victory. In the road start, Hammel allowed three runs on four hits in five innings pitched, issued three walks and suffered the loss.

Yasmani Grandal returns to the starting lineup after A.J. Ellis caught Clayton Kershaw, while Carl Crawford replaces Howie Kendrick in left field. Ben Zobrist, riding a 15-game winning streak, bats leadoff for the Cubs.

Dodgers lineup:

2B: Chase Utley
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
CF: Joc Pederson
C: Yasmani Grandal
RF: Yasiel Puig
LF: Carl Crawford
P: Alex Wood

Cubs lineup:

RF: Ben Zobrist
CF: Jason Heyward
3B: Kris Bryant
1B: Anthony Rizzo
LF: Jorge Soler
SS: Addison Russell
2B: Javier Baez
C: David Ross
P: Jason Hammel