Dave Roberts recently announced that the fourth start of the series against the Arizona Diamondbacks belongs to left-handed pitcher Alex Wood. However, Wood would only get that start if Game 4 at Chase Field is necessary during the best-of-five NLDS series.
J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group tweeted the news update on Thursday evening:
Hyun-Jin Ryu won’t be on the roster. Wasn’t comfortable throwing out of the bullpen.
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) October 6, 2017
This decision might not seem like a surprise too many, but the Dodgers manager clearly wanted to wait till after workouts this week to explore all options and finally come to a conclusion. The good news is that Clayton Kershaw will not be pitching on short rest, and that Roberts actually trusts Wood to get the job done, if needed.
The situation turned out to be a weird dilemma from the public’s perception because Wood has pitched phenomenally well in 2017, and owns a 3-0 record against Arizona this season. However, Dave Roberts and the Dodgers were stuck between using him as a starter or as a reliever, in which case Hyun-Jin Ryu would start in the postseason. Because of this news, Ryu will not be on the postseason roster because he is not comfortable as a reliever.
Alex Wood is 26 years old, and has never started a game in the postseason before. He’ll be throwing in front of a wild crowd at Chase Field, and that’s a place that’s already caused problems for the Rockies young-ace Jon Gray during the Wild Card game. All of that doesn’t matter though, and it definitely seems like Wood’s ready for the challenge.
Alex Wood has had a career-year, putting up a 16-3 record, a 2.72 ERA, and striking out 151 in 2017. He has held the Arizona Diamondbacks to just a .200 batting average and has given up six runs in 21 innings-pitched.
He’s definitely going to need help from Dodgers hitters, but Wood wanted to be in this position and he’s finally getting that opportunity to show that his overall record is no fluke. The team needs to collectively show up ready to play, but all eyes will be on Alex Wood as he makes his first postseason start ever in a hostile environment in Phoenix during Game 4-if necessary.
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