Alex Wood has been a rock for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting rotation for almost the entire 2017 season.
Slotted behind Clayton Kershaw, Wood has done more for the team than anyone could have expected from him when the season started. He was relegated to the bullpen at the start of April before he made his way into the Dodger rotation, where he has dominated every since.
Up until his start against his former employer, the Atlanta Braves just over a week ago, Alex Wood had arguably been better than Clayton Kershaw for a good part of the season. Things unfolded for him that game at Dodger Stadium as he allowed 9 runs (7 ER) in just 4.2 innings on the 21st of July. He followed that start up by allowing 4 runs in 7 innings against the Giants on July 28th.
As the concern for Alex Wood’s performance rose the slightest tick, the biggest worry came from a drop in velocity. Sitting around 94 miles per hour on his fastball for a majority of the season, Wood was now sitting in the lower 90s consistently.
He followed up with his most recent start against the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta; 6 innings pitched, allowing just 1 earned run, walking two and collecting just two strikeouts. The loss in velocity was still there, causing even more reason for concern. Wood admitted that he felt fatigued, per Andy McCullough of The LA Times.
Alex Wood's velocity was down a tad tonight, Dave Roberts said. Wood admitted he felt some fatigue.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) August 4, 2017
On Sunday before the Dodgers’ game in New York, Alex Wood was set to throw a bullpen session to determine whether or not he would pitch in Arizona against the Diamondbacks, or whether the Dodgers would skip him in the rotation. McCullough released the news that Wood was able to make a mechanical adjustment and the life returned to his fastball once again.
Alex Wood survived his bullpen session. He made a mechanical adjustment and the life returned to his fastball, he said.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) August 6, 2017
So it does look like the fatigue is not what was having an affect on his fastball, just the need for an adjustment. The Dodgers could choose to play it safe if they needed to, as they have a 15.5 game lead in the National League West. For now, Wood will be making his next scheduled start.