Alex Wood Returning to All-Star Form in 2021

Alex Wood has been outstanding in 2021. He is 5-0 in his first six starts as a member of the San Francisco Giants. And, his 1.75 ERA sits in the middle of the three-headed monster that also includes Kevin Gausman (1.66 ERA) and Anthony DeSclafani (2.03). An All-Star in 2017, Wood pitched to the tune of a 16-3 record, with a 2.72 ERA. After Alex Wood experienced the best statistical year of his career, the following three seasons were plagued with back and shoulder injuries.

President Of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi made a push to make Wood a member of the Giants back in 2020. However, he felt that he had unfinished business and elected to return to the rival Los Angeles Dodgers in an ultimately successful attempt at winning a championship. Zaidi’s perseverance paid off in 2021 as he finally convinced Wood to become a member of the San Francisco Giants. Alex Wood and his relationship with Zaidi, along with a chance to become a starter again, were his primary reasons for choosing San Francisco as his new home. “Farhan really believes in me, and that goes a really long way in my book,” Said Wood.

Alex Wood received a one-year deal worth $3 million with the potential for an additional $3 million in bonuses. The bonuses will come in the form of innings pitched. With the Giants bullpen and their odd fascination for self-inflicted wounds in the form of blowing leads, manager Gabe Kapler has been letting his starters eat. And if Wood continues to pitch the way he has thus far, he will see a lot of innings throughout the remainder of the season–barring injury.

Alex Wood Started 2021 on the IL

It was fair for San Francisco Giants fans to be hesitant as the season began, regarding Alex Wood. Mention had been made regarding Wood’s injury history. Back and shoulder issues robbed Wood of his 2017 form. And when Wood began the regular season on the IL, recovering from an ablation procedure on his back, there were some doubts that Wood was going to be healthy. Wood ended up missing two starts and made his debut on April 18th, vs. the Miami Marlins, in which he pitched five innings of shutout ball.

He threw just 64 pitches as he recorded his first win as a member of the Giants. Kapler took the training wheels off, allowing Wood to throw 97 pitches in his following two starts, which both ended with a big shiny W next to his name. Wood finished the month of April with a 3-0 record and a 1.50 ERA. Wood has faced 138 batters this year. He has struck out 35 of them, issuing nine walks. Wood’s next start will come against a familiar face, the Dodgers.

Don’t Put it on in the Dugout

Friday, May 21st, the Giants will lock horns with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers for the first time in 2021. As of Thursday morning, the Giants still hold onto the best record in baseball, 27-16. The San Diego Padres sit a half-game back in the division, and the Dodgers remain two games behind. The Giants will play seven of their next nine games against the Dodgers. In a division that is so top-heavy, these seven games will be the most important games these teams have played so far in the young season.

Friday’s game will be a special one for former Dodger Alex Wood and closer Jake McGee. Both of whom won a World Championship as members of the Dodgers bullpen last year. When the Dodgers come to town, they will have some bling with them—a shiny championship ring for both Wood and McGee. The two men deserve the rings and deserve to be honored as members of the Dodgers championship team. However, don’t let those rings hang out in the dugout, and don’t try it on for your new Giants teammates. It’s still a rivalry and a reminder to fans and athletes in San Francisco just who hoisted the trophy at the end of the season.

After receiving his ring, Alex Wood will need to switch focus. Wood is scheduled to pitch game one of the series vs. Trevor Bauer in what will surely be advertised as must-see baseball.

 

 

“Main Photo”
Embed from Getty Images

 

Players Mentioned:

Alex Wood, Kevin Gausman, Anthony DeSclafani, Jake McGee, Trevor Bauer


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