Alex Wood looks to turn his season around as Athletics face off against Nationals

Oakland A's righty Alex Wood is off to a slow start to the 2024 season. He'll have the chance to turn thigs around against a struggling Nationals offense this afternoon.
Washington Nationals v Oakland Athletics
Washington Nationals v Oakland Athletics / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The Oakland Athletics will face off against the Washington Nationals this afternoon in a rubber match after the Nats evened the series at one game apiece last night.

Nats' starter MacKenzie Gore shut down the A's offense yesterday, throwing 5 scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts while allowing just 4 hits and a walk. The Nats' bullpen would ring up another 7 A's batters, totaling 18 strikeouts on the day.

A's starter Joe Boyle was solid, going 5 innings while allowing a run on 5 hits with 5 strikeouts and a walk. It wasn't enough though as the A's offense was never able to get into gear.

Can Alex Wood get some forward momentum against a struggling Nats offense?

The A's will try to rebound this afternoon with lefty Alex Wood on the mound for his fourth start of the year. He was a bit better his last time out but comes into today's matchup with an 8.03 ERA and a 12:6 strikeout to walk ratio.

It's not the most inspiring start to the year but there's hope that Wood can turn it around. He's been a consistently solid pitcher over the last few years while working in the back half of the Giants rotation.

Given the number of injuries the A's pitching staff has already sustained, Wood's health is going to be integral to keeping the A's above water.

GM David Forst is quickly running out of options on the 40-man roster. Joey Estes or Osvaldo Bido would likely be the next man up if the A's need to make any adjustments due to health or performance. Beyond that, the options are slim.

Wood won't lose his job this early but Boyle probably needs to get things moving in the right direction if he wants to stay in Oakland. After yesterday's effort, Boyle now has a 5.68 ERA, albeit with a much more encouraging 3.01 FIP.

He's still walking too many batters but if he's able to keep the strikeout rate high and start commanding his pitches a bit more consistently, he'll be an asset for this A's squad.

The Nationals will send right hander Trevor Williams to the mound to face off against Wood this afternoon. Williams comes into the matchup with a 2.61 ERA on the year. He has been sharp in both outings, pitching against Pittsburgh and San Francisco in the last two weeks.

Alex Wood probably won't completely shut down the Nats offense but if the A's can get the bats going against Williams early on, they'll have a chance to win their third straight series.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:07 pm PDT. You can follow along via NBC Sports California on TV or via the A's Cast audio feed.