While Alex Wood has generally pitched well at Dodger Stadium since being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers last August, he’s otherwise been inconsistent. Wood was slowed by an ankle injury that he’s since recovered from.
He entered Spring Training widely perceived as the sixth starter, but secured a spot in the rotation due to injuries. With the Dodgers mired in a four-game losing streak after being swept by the Miami Marlins, Wood was on the mound Friday night looking to snap the skid and extend the Dodgers’ dominance this season over the San Diego Padres.
The southpaw had four strikeouts through three scoreless innings before running into some trouble in the fourth. Matt Kemp hit a one-out double off the wall in center field and scored right after on Melvin Upton Jr.’s RBI single.
Wood otherwise kept the Padres at bay, allowing just the one run on five hits and setting a season-high with nine strikeouts in seven innings pitched.
Some of his success may be attributed to Wood adjusting the leg kick in his delivery so as to improve timing, according to Cary Osborne of Dodger Insider:
Wood said he was watching video of himself earlier this week and noticed his front leg lifting slightly higher when he delivered his pitch. It disrupted his timing. During his bullpen session this week, he worked to fix it.
Wood added he believes the change he and Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt made will improve consistency and is encouraged by the early returns:
“Consistency’s my biggest thing,” Wood said. “I think the adjustment Honey and I talked about will help my consistency throughout.”
“It was very encouraging for sure,” Wood said of Friday’s start. “It’s kind of a puzzle sometimes when you’re working on stuff. You see things that you think if you change a little bit here you might click. I felt even last week in my start in Colorado I was getting closer. It was just a little bit of a timing issue.”
On the season, Wood is 1-2 with a 4.82 ERA, 3.54 FIP and 1.54 WHIP in five starts; he hasn’t earned a decision in either of his last two outings. Wood has allowed just one run and tossed seven innings in both of his home starts this season.
Since joining the Dodgers, he’s posted a 2.08 ERA at Dodger Stadium over seven starts, and gone at least six innings in each outing.