About three weeks ago I wrote an article declaring I would start Alex Wood over Clayton Kershaw in a game for all the marbles. Although Kershaw has improved his standing with me, namely by stopping his trend of giving up way too many homers, Mr. Wood has done nothing that would make me change my mind that HE is the reigning Dodgers ace at this point of the season.
For example, tonight Wood pitched seven shutout innings behind the teeny-tiny one-run lead the boys of the Steamroller gave to him. He didn’t even allow a hit until the fourth inning, which was really the only time Wood and the Dodgers felt any heat from the snakes.
In that inning Wood gave up a lead off walk and surrendered a double, which put men on second and third with two out. However, he got himself in trouble, and he got himself out of it by striking out the next batter to complete atriking out the side. Wood let loose with an exuberant fist pump on his way off the mound, and the D-backs never threatened him again.
The Dodgers picked up their solo run in the bottom of the second. Yasmani Grandal doubled – his 18th – to knock in Chris The Flash Taylor from first. That little run stood up all night.
The snakes may not have put much fear in the Dodgers’ hearts tonight, but that didn’t mean it was all cherries and cream for the boys in blue. Pedro Baez relieved Wood in the eighth and he immediately commenced to missing the strike zone. He walked his first batter on four pitches. When he threw a fifth straight ball, the skipper went out to the mound and gave Pedro a pep talk. Whatever Doc said, Baez took to heart because he got the next three batters on a strikeout, a force out, and another K to finish off the inning.
The Dodgers made a murmur of a sound at trying to get an insurance run in their half of the eighth after Corey Seager hit a two out double, but the snakes intentionally walked the red-hot red head, Justin Turner (who already had a double in the bank tonight) so they could face almost- ice-cold Cody Bellinger. Cody went down on strikes for the third out, and the Dodgers went to the big man for the save.
Kenley got a flyout, a K, gave up a single, and struck out the next man swinging to record the save, help Alex Wood earn his tenth win, and ensure at least a series defeat of the Diamondbacks.
Dodgers Win 1-0 WHEW!
Breathing Room: The Dodgers have opened up a 4 1/2 game lead over the snakes.
That’s a good pitching: Alex Wood is the first pitcher to open 10-0 since Dodger Stadium’s inaugural 1962 season.