Beaten by the Giants on Saturday, Alex Wood beat himself up a little after his return to the Dodgers’ starting rotation turned in their first
loss of the year, 5-4, to the Giants at Dodger Stadium.
After offseason departures of starters Hyun Jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda and
Rich Hill, Wood was signed for depth despite winning only once for
Cincinnati last year while battling a back injury. His immediate
importance to the Dodgers’ rotation is heightened by David Price
electing not to pitch this year and Clayton Kershaw beginning the season
on the injured list.
“The weight that’s constantly on your shoulders to go out there and be
the best and do your part to help the team win is super important,” said
Wood, who lasted only three innings. “For anybody that knows me, I wear
days like this as hard as anybody. I’ll deal with my feelings when I
leave the park and be back tomorrow to get ready for the next one.”
Wood seemed reluctant to throw fastballs Mike Piazza Dodgers Jersey
, but lacked command with his changeup and sliders. He fell behind
hitters, allowing the leadoff batter to reach base each inning -- one of
them a home run by Wilmer Flores -- and walked three with four
strikeouts.“They have a solid lineup against left-handed pitchers, so it
was a little more difficult preparing for them,” said Wood. “I kind of
got away from my general plan of how aggressive I am. We threw too much
soft stuff early. They had some good at-bats, drawing walks. Overall,
just getting away from what I do best in terms of pounding the zone and
attacking early. I felt better in the third inning, got back to doing
what I like to do.”
Notes: Dustin May gets another start; Chris Taylor at DH
By then, he was up to 69 pitches, including a tiring 31 in the second
inning, and manager Dave Roberts went to the bullpen. Dennis Santana
allowed a pair of fourth-inning runs as the Giants extended their lead
to 5-1, before relievers Joe Kelly, Blake Treinen, Jake McGee and Dylan
Floro combined for six strikeouts over the final four scoreless innings.
Despite Wood’s shaky outing and the unexpected defections from the
rotation, Roberts remained confident that the Dodgers have sufficient
“With Dustin [May] stepping up and Ross [Stripling] throwing well Sandy Koufax Jersey
, we’re expecting to get Clayton back sometime soon,” Roberts said.
“Every start Julio [Urías] makes and Dustin makes, they continue to get
better. Woody is a veteran, he’ll be fine. So, I think our starting
pitching depth, I’m really comfortable with it.” The Dodgers’ offense
trimmed the margin with a pair of unearned runs in the eighth and a Will
Smith homer in the ninth, which only underscored how four baserunning
mistakes turned this game into a loss instead of a third consecutive
win. Guilty were Justin Turner, Chris Taylor, Joc Pederson and Austin
“A little too much aggressiveness, and a couple of them are just mental
mistakes,” Roberts said. “Win or lose, it’s how you play the game, and I
think how we got there today, I’m not pleased with. You leave four outs
on the field, we pride ourselves on intelligence and running the bases
and knowing the scoreboard. When you get doubled off four times and give
away outs, that’s just not helpful.”Emergency Opening Night starter
Dustin May will get a second start on Wednesday in Houston, Dodgers
manager Dave Roberts said on Saturday.
The 22-year-old rookie, filling in for the injured Clayton Kershaw,
allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings against the Giants in an eventual 8-1
win. May struck out four without a walk, but also allowed seven hits
while having his fastball clocked as high as 100 mph.
Kershaw, who experienced back stiffness during a weight-room workout on
Tuesday, said on Friday he believed he would not be out long and threw
in the outfield for a second day on Saturday. He is eligible to come off
the 10-day injured list next Friday.
This is the fourth time in his career Kershaw has been sidelined by a
back injury Cody Bellinger Youth Jersey
. The previous three times he missed 10, five and three weeks.
Chris Taylor, who remained in Friday night’s game after a violent
collision with Giants first baseman Pablo Sandoval, texted Roberts
Saturday morning that he was able to play. Roberts compromised and made
Taylor the designated hitter so he wouldn’t need to play the field.
Roberts said the Giants were engaging in “gamesmanship, we’ll call it,”
in withholding information on their starting pitcher and lineups until
late on the day of the game, but “to each their own.” Ross Stripling not
only wasn’t supposed to be in the Dodgers starting rotation this
season, he wasn’t supposed to be in a Dodgers uniform.
He was traded to the Angels, then he wasn’t. He was sent to the bullpen,
then David Price elected not to play this year and look who got the
Game 2 start, as well as a 9-1 win over the Giants on Friday night at
Max Muncy homered twice, Justin Turner drove in two runs and Mookie
Betts drove in his first run for the Dodgers, while Stripling allowed
four hits over seven efficient innings, tarnished only by a Jaylin Davis
home run leading off the third inning. Stripling struck out seven
without a walk, repeatedly enticing Giants batters to chase pitches
above the strike zone when he wasn’t fooling them with a new and
improved changeup refined during the break.
So, two games into the season, the Dodgers fill in for a pair of Cy
Young Award winners with 22-year-old rookie Dustin May and a 30-year-old
swingman in Stripling and win anyway by a combined 17-2.
“I certainly think we should be impressed Mookie Betts Dodgers Jersey
, but I don’t think surprised, ” said manager Dave Roberts. “You talk
about depth with our club. We talk about it a lot. Starting pitching
certainly is a part of that. To see these guys rise to the occasion, not
a surprise at all, and opportunities they deserve.” Stripling, who
remained with the Dodgers after the Angels backed out of the trade,
praised the front office for building a deep powerhouse.
“In the Andrew Friedman era, we’ve just always had a ton of depth, and
this year’s no exception to that,” he said. “Just a testament to the
front office, the guys that draft and our coaching staff for developing
guys. Our lineup is phenomenal and is going to be a grind for anyone
that has to pitch to it. Our starters are built up and we’ve got guys
coming out of the bullpen that maybe some people have never heard of
that are nasty, like Dylan Floro [who struck out two in the ninth
inning]. It’s just our depth and feel like every year we show it off.”
Stripling said he was competitive with the high fastballs and encouraged
as Roberts left him in through seven innings even though he resorted to
between-innings stretching to loosen his hips and lower back.
“The new [changeup] grip, I had it in Spring Training and got away from
it in quarantine and got it back in quarantine and worked it hard in
Summer Camp,” he said. “Was able to throw a handful of really good ones
today. I’ve faced some of those hitters many times and got a swing and
miss on a changeup, maybe a new wrinkle they haven’t seen.”
Offensively, the Dodgers scored in seven of their eight innings,
received RBIs from five batters, drew eight walks and capitalized on
four Giants errors.
“We stressed them every inning,” said Roberts. “The guys had a plan
collectively and it was really good to see.”Roberts said he was hopeful
Chris Taylor would be able to play on Saturday. He was involved in a
violent fifth-inning collision with Giants first baseman Pablo Sandoval Jackie Robinson Dodgers Jersey
, but stayed in the game and immediately stole second base. Dodgers
pitcher Clayton Kershaw said his latest back injury is “not too serious
and getting better quickly.”
Kershaw missed Thursday’s Opening Night start after developing stiffness
while doing the same core exercises he said he’s been doing for the
last 1 1/2 years. After receiving treatment on Friday, he played catch
to 90 feet and “felt pretty good.
This is the second consecutive season Kershaw has begun a season on the
10-day injured list and the fourth time he has been sidelined by a back
injury. His previous back stints sidelined him for 10, five and three
weeks, but he said this one is not similar to the 10-week ordeal he
experienced in 2016, when he suffered a herniated disk.
“I’m optimistic it shouldn’t be much longer than my original [10-day]
stint on the IL,” he said. “I don’t really remember each specific time,
other than when I really hurt it in 2016. That’s the only one I truly
remember being in serious, serious pain. I feel like every other one ...
back pain you just deal with and things crop up. I’ve been fortunate
the last few years but unfortunately something cropped up Tuesday. But
not super serious and thankful I should be back pretty quick.”
Kershaw said he was thankful that a Tuesday MRI came back clean with no
structural damage, clearing him for immediate rehab. He is eligible to
return next Friday.
“I felt so good going into the season, it was pretty defeating,” he
said. “Like, how is this happening right now? But I started moving
forward yesterday [and] today made a lot of progress.”