2017 World Series: Alex Wood’s Stellar Performance In Game 4 Capped Off Emotional Day
Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports

Each time setting his starting rotation for the National League Division Series, Championship Series and World Series, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts unequivocally said Alex Wood would take the ball in a Game 4. It was a break from years past when Clayton Kershaw started on short rest.

A sweep prevented Wood from taking the mound in the NLDS, so he faced the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field a mere 21 days from his last start. The time to his outing in Game 4 of the World Series was a more manageable 10 days.

But the stakes were much higher. Rather than being one win away from clinching the NL pennant, the Dodgers were one loss from being pushed to the brink of elimination.

All Wood did was hold the Houston Astros to one run — on George Springer’s solo homer — in 5.2 innings. It was the first and only hit the southpaw allowed.

Wood’s 5.2 innings was the deepest any Dodgers pitcher has held a no-hitter in a World Series game. While he exited with a deficit and on the hook for a loss, the Dodgers rallied for a comeback win.

“It’s hard to put into words really right now. I needed a win and I was glad to keep us in it long enough to where our bats came alive,” Wood said. “That felt like us there those last few innings. It’s a big win for us.”

For as well as Wood pitched, Charlie Morton largely matched the performance. The right-hander allowed a leadoff single to Chris Taylor in the first inning, then retired the next 14 batters faced.

Austin Barnes on a hit by pitch to start the sixth inning was the Dodgers’ next baserunner. “The innings were rolling pretty quickly there the first four, five, six innings,” Wood said of the duel.

“It kept us both of us locked in, a little bit of a groove. He was special, too. They don’t get much better stuff than that, watching him zing 97, 98 sinkers in there with his curveball. It was a lot of fun to watch.”

On top of delivering a much-needed performance for the Dodgers, Wood’s start came on a night that carries significant meaning to him on a personal level.

“A lot of things, my parents got engaged on this date almost 30 years ago,” he revealed. “My best friend’s eight-year anniversary of his accident, getting paralyzed, my fiancée’s birthday, I always truly believe in God’s timing. And I’m just happy it went the way it did.

“It’s been a whirlwind of emotion for me.”