With the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday, a sense of relief came for a certain starting pitcher. Alex Wood, making his first start at Chavez Ravine since being traded for, put together an outing that earned him his first victory with the Dodgers.

The southpaw threw 6.1 innings, allowing five hits, three walks, and three earned runs while striking out three batters. The 24 year old has been grateful since being acquired by the Dodgers, as he finds himself on a winning ball club, attempting to validate his role in the starting rotation and as a possible postseason starter.

After the game, Wood was asked about his first victory for the team and stated that he felt he had a quality start in the books. “It’s nice to get my first win as a Dodger, especially here at home,” he said. “It’s in the dog days. I feel like I’ve thrown the ball pretty good.”

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly revealed the North Carolina native has been dealing an ankle issue recently, which presumably was exacerbated a bit when a line drive struck Wood. However, both Mattingly and the left-hander seemed unconcerned.

“It’s not bad. I put a little patch on there and hopefully it won’t feel any worse tomorrow morning,” Wood said. “Just stuff that you deal with over the course of 162 games. Nothing to go into any further detail about.”

As for getting proverbial monkey off his back, Wood called it a confidence boost. “I think the biggest thing for me is the whole winning aspect,” he said. “It gives me some confidence to get the first win under my belt for these guys. I felt like tonight overall was the best I’ve thrown in the three starts. That’s all I look for.”

With the victory, the third-year pitcher is now 8-7 with a 3.74 ERA, 4.29 FIP, and 1.42 WHIP. As for the pressure and expectations that hang over the Dodgers, Wood welcomes them. “The expectations wherever you go are high. If you want to stay here and be a part of something like this and what they got going on here in LA, then you have to come in and you have to perform,” he said.

“You have to do what you need to do. Not just to be a contributor or make trades look good or bad, but to stay here and be a part of it. This is an organization that wants to win and everybody in this clubhouse wants to win. I’m excited to be a part of it.”

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About The Author

Eric Avakian is a senior at Cal Poly Pomona majoring in marketing and business administration. Growing up in Burbank, California, Eric grew up as an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan.

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