Four of the five starting pitchers on the Los Angeles Dodgers' Opening Day roster are on the disabled list. The other, Alex Wood, has given the club cause for concern.
Wood will take the mound for the Dodgers on Saturday night against the Atlanta Braves at something of a low point in a mediocre season. The left-hander gave up five runs in a May 26 start against the San Diego Padres, then took the mound Sunday at Colorado and gave up six runs and five hits in just two innings.
Wood (1-4, 4.48 ERA) went eight days between the two starts, and it was not because of a quirky team schedule. The Dodgers built extra days off into his routine as a consideration for lingering hamstring cramps that have cut short two starts this season.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts did not want to make too much of Wood's clunker in the thin air of Colorado last weekend.
"He just didn't have it," Roberts said, according to mlb.com.
Facing his former club figures to be daunting for Wood. The Braves entered the series in Los Angeles with 312 runs to lead the National League and were second in the NL with a .759 OPS. They were held in check, though, in a 7-3 loss to the Dodgers on Friday.
Since joining the Dodgers, Wood has three starts against the Braves, going 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA, giving up six runs in a 2016 start that he lost and allowing eight earned runs in two outings while going 1-1 against Atlanta last year.
The Braves will counter Saturday with Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 2.16), whose season has been limited to five outings and four starts because of a right hamstring injury.
Sanchez has not given up an earned run in two of his last three starts, including his outing Sunday against the Washington Nationals. He went a season-high seven innings in that start, giving up just two hits.
In five career starts against the Dodgers, Sanchez is 0-1 with a 3.21 ERA in 25 innings.
Sanchez will need to summon every bit of his success on Saturday against the Dodgers, who hit five home runs in Friday's victory, two by Yasmani Grandal, and now have seven consecutive multi-homer games.
After struggling to utilize the long ball early in the season, the Dodgers now have 78 home runs, tied with the Milwaukee Brewers for most in the NL. They have also won six of their last seven games and 16 of their last 21.
The Dodgers now have four players with 10 or more home runs in Cody Bellinger (12), Grandal (11), Matt Kemp (10) and Max Muncy (10).
But Friday's win came with more bad news on the injury front. Dodgers starter Walker Buehler was pulled in the sixth inning because of rib soreness.
The Braves have lost three of their first four games on their six-game West Coast trip to San Diego and Los Angeles. Atlanta has lost two in a row but is still in a virtual tie with Washington for first place in the NL East.