Alex Wood deserves more credit for his Dodgers tenure as he heads to the Giants.
But, prior to 2017, this would’ve been the cardinal sin of all cardinal sins. Wood will be a San Francisco Giant in 2021 on a one-year, $3 million deal, and whenever he comes to visit Dodger Stadium the fan base will need to cringe in unison to avoid getting too emotional.
Because, whether you noticed it or not, Wood was absolute nails when it mattered most. Over and over again.
Wood’s 2017 season — at the age of just 26! — will go down as one of the great unheralded campaigns in Dodgers history.
The lefty, who always looked like he was tilting back to chuck an axe towards home plate, posted an old-school jaw-dropper of a season, with a gaudy 16-3 record. However, the deeper numbers were remarkably impressive, too. Wood allowed just 123 hits in 152.1 innings pitched, hurling to a 3.32 FIP and striking out nearly a man per inning (151).
And in the ill-fated World Series that followed against the Astros, it would be pretty easy to convince yourself that Wood was the one pitcher that Houston hadn’t developed a trash can system for. In a Game 4 start on the road, Wood allowed just one hit and one run in 5.2 innings pitched.
Three games later, in a contest all Dodgers fans would rather forget, Wood held down the ‘Stros in Game 7 with two shutout, hitless innings. That’s 7.1 innings pitched, one goddamned hit against a team with an extremely unfair advantage.
And so, as Wood departs for the orange and black after finding his way to Cincinnati and back previously, we’d like to extend a hand in appreciation for his efforts under seemingly impossible circumstances.
Wood is a cheat-proof postseason legend who still likely has some great baseball ahead of him. We hope that’s the case — but not when he visits us.