LOS ANGELES – Alex Wood returns home to start Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium. With the Giants.
The former Dodgers pitcher will receive the ball Monday against Los Angeles ace Max Scherzer in the best-of-five series, which is tied 1-1.
Woods was a key member of the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen on his way to winning the World Series last year after returning to the team on a one-year deal. He became a free agent after the season and was eager to become a starter again. In January he signed with the San Francisco Giants, division rivals.
Wood was 10-4 with a 3.83 ERA in 26 starts during the regular season. In three outings against his former team, he had a pair of 1-0 losses and one no-decision. He pitched six innings in each of his first two outings, allowing two and four runs. In his third outing, he allowed three.
“If you look at Wood’s numbers in the postseason, he’s been incredible, either as a starter or in the bullpen,” said Kevin Gausman, who started Game 2. “Obviously the Dodgers know it very well, because they had it for a long time. It’s going to be a good match and I’m excited to see Wood work. “
The Giants need to win one of the next two games in Los Angeles to force the series back to San Francisco for a decisive fifth game.
With the familiarity that exists between the Dodgers and Wood, Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said any advantage will be seen that day.
“That’s going to be the fun, to see how it happens,” said the manager. “He’ll use the fastball to go ahead on the count or throw a curveball for the strikeout. In even accounts, you can use the line to deceive us or use your strength, change. Ultimately, it’s about execution. “
Scherzer will show up rested for his 24th postseason start. He pitched last week in the wild card game against the St. Louis Cardinals. The three-time Cy Young winner wasn’t particularly fine, but he held the Cardinals to one run in 4 1/3 innings.
The right-hander was dominant in his first nine outings with the Dodgers after arriving from Washington at the trade deadline in July.
But he was less effective in each of his last three starts. He allowed five earned runs in his last two regular-season games as a starter and struggled with his control in the wild-card game.
“In the last three games he has not acted as he expected,” admitted Roberts. “I just hope he throws the ball extremely well tomorrow night.”