Alex Wood hopes to win over his new fans after years of visiting with their hated rival when the veteran left-hander starts for the host San Francisco Giants against the Miami Marlins on the second night of a four-game series Friday.
The Marlins are expected to counter with right-hander Sandy Alcantara (0-1, 3.28).
Wood (1-0, 0.00), who pitched five of his first eight seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, made his Giants debut on the road Sunday and blanked the Marlins on three hits over five innings in a 1-0 win.
The 30-year-old has pitched seven times previously at Oracle Park, all for the Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds. He went just 1-2 with a 4.84 ERA against the Giants in those games.
Wood hopes to send Giants fans away happy yet again, only this time as a member of the home team. His 2021 debut was delayed 15 games while he dealt with a lower-back strain sustained in spring training.
While he hasn’t had much success at the ballpark, he’s had more than his fair share against the Marlins, against whom he’s gone 7-4 with a 2.60 ERA in 16 games, including 13 starts. The seven wins are two more than he’s accrued against any other opponent.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler observed after Sunday’s masterful performance that it appeared as if the Marlins’ hitters had never seen Wood before.
“He’s funky, unorthodox,” Kapler noted. “He was able to keep those right-handed hitters off-balance, which is a really, really difficult thing to do.”
Wood will be facing a Marlins team that didn’t fare any better against Giants right-hander Aaron Sanchez than they did against him four days earlier.
Sanchez combined with four relievers on a two-hit shutout in the series opener Thursday, with both hits allowed — a pair of singles — coming within the Marlins’ first seven batters.
The shutout loss was Miami’s fourth already of the young season.
The Giants won on a night when they gave standout catcher Buster Posey a game off. Backup Curt Casali produced two of the game’s three runs — all of which scored in the first inning — with a two-run single. He also caught a shutout for the fifth consecutive start, becoming just the fifth catcher to do so since at least 1900, per Elias Sports.
Alcantara will be making his fifth start of the season, the most recent of which came last Saturday in a 7-6 home win over the Giants.
The 25-year-old took a 3-0 lead into the seventh inning of that game before surrendering a home run to Brandon Belt that triggered a five-run Giants uprising.
The Marlins rallied to win in extra innings.
Miami’s Opening Day pitcher has never beaten the Giants (0-1) in four games (three starts) despite an impressive ERA (2.70).
He’s going to need more support than the Marlins gave Daniel Castano in the series opener. The first of Miami’s two hits Thursday came from highly touted prospect Jazz Chisholm, who led off the game with a single.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly thinks the sky’s the limit for the 23-year-old.
“Jazz is going to get better as long as he stays with the process, continues to work,” the skipper professed. “The at-bats have been good. He has a high ceiling, is fun to watch and can do a lot of things on the field.”
–Field Level Media