Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Elsie the cow knows that and so does Alex Wood, the Major League pitcher.
Wood, the multi-talented lefty and former Braves pitcher, left behind three seasons of “so so” baseball in 2015. Wood was 2120 with the Braves with just one winning season despite striking out 337 batters in 368 2/3 innings.
The 6-foot-4 Wood was an 11- game winner for Atlanta with a 2.78 earned run average in 2014. His lone winning season for the Braves was with a 7-6 mark in 2015.
One year later, Wood player is Jay Bruce (of the New York Mets). He’s like me. He is a good defensive player, and he left behind friends, family and teammates as he was dealt away to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Welcome to pro baseball, which is a game, and a dollars and cents business.
Maybe for Wood the trade to the West Coast seemed rather uprooting and cruel at the time. But it has all worked out for the best for Wood, the ex-Turner Field fan favorite.
Wood is making new friends in Los Angeles, and he is winning baseball games. He has turned his baseball career completely around. Wood is having a career year for the Dodgers this season. He is just about perfect, starting the year with a record of 11-0 with a lean earned run average of hits with contact,” said Sheppard.
Who knows? Maybe one day Sheppard will be playing 1.56 prior to the 4-game series with the Braves (of all teams) last Thursday through Sunday.
And Wood is starting to look good in Dodger blue. He has just 23 walks in 86 2/3 innings, and he has 101 strikeouts. Wood is just a lot more consistent these days.
He is reaching his potential – finally. The Braves were hoping. It looks like Atlanta may have given up on him too soon. This year with Los Angeles, Wood is having the season of his baseball dreams.
A few breaks have fallen his way. Wood began the season in the Dodger bullpen, but since then Los Angeles starting pitcher Rich Hill went down with Major League baseball, too.
“Blake gets all wound up. He is something else. Blake can hit the ball and an injury. Wood took his place in the starting rotation, and the 219-pounder has made the most of it.
Granted the Dodgers have been scoring runs for Wood, but he is playing some “lockdown” baseball from the pitching rubber. Wood is doing his duty, and he is earning his $2.8 million. At least some of it.
The $2.8 million can buy a lot of Big Macs and a close full of three-piece suits. Wood is living it up and pitching his best. The ex-Brave was the National League Pitcher of the Week in early May.
During one two-game stretch, Wood threw 11 scoreless innings with 21 strikeouts. Wood is a much catch the ball. He is a solid player,” said Glenn Jackson, the all-star assistant coach and Nationals head more polished pitcher now than he was in Atlanta. And the Dodgers are reaping the benefits of that.
The former Georgia Bulldog hurler was named the National League Pitcher of the Month for May. Wood hit his stride with a 5-0 record with a 1.27 earned run average and 41 strikeouts.
When Wood won his first 10 games earlier this season he was the first Dodger pitcher to do that in 62 years since Don Newcombe. So Wood did something that former Dodger pitching greats Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Orel Hershiser and Fernando Valenzuela could not.
Wood is in the Dodger record book. That isn’t bad coach.
Blake Sheppard is the son of Corey and Brandi Sheppard of LaGrange.
for an ex-Braves hurler with a 21-20 record. Wood is a different sort of pitcher now. He’s an all-star. Wood did play in the Major League All-Star game earlier this month in Miami.
Wood very likely hasn’t even thrown his best baseball yet, and that is something special for a guy with such an unorthodox pitching style. Wood is throwing strikes with a wide array of pitches with the sinker, the fastball, the knuckle curve and the changeup.
Alex Wood has come a long way since his frustrating days in Atlanta. And right about now the Braves wished they had him back. That is for sure.