Not Alex Wood Mucks Up Alex Wood’s Debut
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
In Alex Wood‘s debut, the Dodgers offense was mostly nonexistent, getting stifled by the unbreakable Jerome Williams (hue hue).
Wood had mixed results in his first start as a Dodger, his fastball only sat at 88-89 MPH, and he was hit hard in a few innings (the 3rd 4th and 6th innings stand out particularly), he gave up 4 runs (mostly because Howie Kendrick made a boneheaded defensive decision, and Joel Peralta is a straight up tire fire) and but he he also struck out 8 while only walking one man unintentionally so the command was there, but the control came and went. Staying healthy is going to be the key for him, but he’s well in line for a playoff start.
The team got their first run in the 5th inning, after Andre Ethier singled Howie Kendrick in from 3rd base, unfortunately that was their first hit with RISP and they stranded everybody else that inning.
Joc Pederson‘s wRC+ was at 126 entering this game, so it’s really encouraging to see him walk 3 times even if it’s against the likes of Jerome Williams and Justin DeFratus. When he was struggling, even going back to last season, he was always getting on base via the walk, which wasn’t the case in July, as long as his plate recognition is better, he should be able to break out of this funk.
In other, more disturbing news, the Dodgers’ best option to start at third baseman is very easily Alberto Callaspo.
Yep he’s hitting .242/.324/.286 as a Dodger, yep he was even worse before he got here, but that’s more of a testament to Guerrero’s play since May 1st. He struck out with the bases loaded in the 4th inning, allowing Alex Wood to GIDP to end the inning, then made an awful bobble play in the 5th inning that took out a potential inning ending double play, and after Joc’s 3rd walk he struck out on 3 pitches, missing horribly on the first pitch in the dirt, and struck out looking on a fastball right down the middle of the plate (pitching backwards is a thing, mang!)
The adjustment period that every major league player faces has absolutely eaten him alive, he’s got a.615 OPS since May with putrid ass defense wherever you play him. The one reason why he’s on a major league roster has everything to do with his contract and nothing to do with his play. So there’s that.
The 7th inning brought true insanity though, after Carlos Ruiz singled on a ground ball juuust past a diving Howie Kendrick, Wood got Domonic Brown to ground out to Howie, but then Kendrick did something inexplicable, he fielded a groundball in front of Carlos Ruiz, did nothing to stare him down, threw to first and Ruiz slid safely into 2nd base. After an intentional walk to Cesar Hernandez, he brought the count to 3-2 and then did this
Herrera walked after… whatever that was, and Wood was lifted for Joel Peralta with the bases loaded and 1 out (29.8% GB% this season lmao) who has been quite bad this season, he gave up a grand slam to Maikel Franco. The guy is a 39 year old coming off of shoulder problems. He’s thrown more hangers this season than any pitcher i’ve ever seen, and even if you want to talk about his veteran presence in a bullpen with mostly young guys, we have to talk about how goddawful it is to
A) have him in that position
B) put him in those high leverage situations when he’s toast
The managing in that situation was underwhelming at best. But hey, there will be games like this during the season, and at least there was excitement in that 8th inning with Jimmy Rollins up as the tying run, men on 2nd and 3rd, facing the best reliever in the NL East at his home park. He struck out looking, but the Dodgers scored their 2nd run at least.
At least Wood was very solid when he wasn’t totally exhausted (gross) but it was a disappointing outcome to start a roadtrip.