Looking to shed payroll and clear a logjam in their outfield, the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a seven-player trade last offseason that saw many notable players head to the Cincinnati Reds.
Among them was Alex Wood, who had spent parts of the previous four seasons with the Dodgers. The left-hander was mostly solid during his stint with the organization, enjoying his finest season in 2017.
It was a year in which Wood posted career bests across the board, including wins (16), ERA (2.72) and WHIP (1.06). He was selected to his first All-Star Game and finished ninth in National League Cy Young Award voting.
Wood’s success during the regular season carried over into the playoffs as well, where he was dominant across two outings against the Houston Astros in the 2017 World Series.
With the Astros leading 2-1 in the series, Wood’s performance in Game 4 at Minute Maid Park helped the Dodgers pull even. He considers his performance on the road one of the proudest moments of his career, via Andy McCullough of The Athletic:
“That’s one of the proudest moments I’ve had in my career, in my life,” Wood said. “That was so [expletive] cool, man.”
In 5.2 innings of work, Wood held the Astros to just one run on one hit, striking out three batters as opposed to issuing two walks. His lone blemish on the night was allowing a solo home run to George Springer in the sixth inning.
The Dodgers cruised to a 6-2 victory, giving the Astros their only loss at home during the 2017 postseason. Wood attributed his success to consistently changing his signs with Austin Barnes:
“We were constantly changing,” Wood said. “We probably didn’t go more than eight or 10 pitches that whole time without changing.”
Even prior to cheating allegations surfacing against the Astros, Wood and the Dodgers were plenty suspicious of the organization and their purported stealing of signs.
His other appearance in the Fall Classic came at Dodger Stadium in Game 7, where he closed out the game with two scoreless innings and three strikeouts.
Wood is currently a free agent and is one of the top left-handed starting pitchers available after Hyun-Jin Ryu.
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