Dodgers: Alex Wood Sure is Getting an Extended Break
By Sully Engels
The news about Corey Seager was gut-wrenching for Dodgers nation but also reminds fans how lucky the team is to have the depth that they do. It’s more than the stars that get it done in Los Angeles; every player brings something to the table.
For a team that has preached being bigger than one person all season, this is a perfect chance to go out and prove just that. But with a big person missing from the lineup, the Dodgers‘ pitching will need to continue to be at the level it was in Arizona, maybe better, to ensure this team punches their ticket to the World Series.
In the NLDS, the starting pitching was a bit up and down but certainly wasn’t bad. Kershaw went six and a third and allowed four, Hill only went four and let two come home, neither was bad, and CK was actually masterful through six. Darvish was sharp through five and only allowed one across.
It was not any of their best starts, but it got the job done. Kershaw and Hill have combined for three runs allowed in 10 innings in the first two games against the Cubs. The one man who hasn’t gotten his chance is Alex Wood. That won’t be the case in the NLCS as the series now shifts to the seven-game format.
Wood was promised the ball had the last series gone four, at least that was the word before the series began. This time, he will surely have the ball in his hands at some point. So I ask, should Alex Wood have gotten some work in during Game 1?
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The reason I bring that up is that Wood hasn’t thrown in a live game in 20ish days and if the first time he does is for Game 4 (which seems more and more likely), that will be 24 days. Sure, he’s thrown in numerous intersquads since then and as well as side work, but it’s hard to simulate a postseason experience.
Alex Wood has never started a playoff game either; he’s made three appearances in relief and has been solid in two of those. The best of the three was last season in the NLCS vs. the Cubs, two scoreless innings to finish the game in a loss to Chicago. He does have a start at Wrigley. He went three and two thirds and allowed one.
So maybe it wouldn’t have been a bad idea, if possible, to get him a chance in Game 1. It could have boosted some confidence in him or shake off some rust, so he is ready to go on Wednesday.
The only thing holding that idea back would be the fact that days off don’t seem to bother Woodman. In fact, he pitches better with more rest. The seven times he’s started with more than six days of rest, he’s 5-1 with an ERA of 2.81 and 46 strikeouts in 41.2 innings.
Next: Still Have to Play the Game
I think Wood will be in good shape, come Game 4, and hopefully, it will be in a situation where he closes this thing out.