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Wood makes Game 3 case with strong outing

Southpaw allowed two runs over seven frames on Friday

LOS ANGELES -- While the Dodgers are fighting for home-field advantage in the National League Division Series, there are still decisions to be made on how players fit into roles.

After a seven-inning gem on Friday, left-hander Alex Wood put his name in the conversation to potentially start Game Three for the Dodgers in the NLDS as Los Angeles beat San Diego, 6-2.

Wood pitched six shutout innings before surrendering a pair of runs in the seventh inning. He departed after just 88 pitches and he's been under 100 pitches in each of his last six starts.

Video: [email protected] Mattingly on win over Padres, Wood, Greinke

"His fastball command has been really strong the last three outings," catcher A.J. Ellis said. "He's a tough matchup for lefties and righties because he's unorthodox and he can mix really well."

The Dodgers' other option for a Game Three start would be fellow left-hander Brett Anderson. Anderson and Wood are similar pitchers, as both pitch to contact rather than overpowering hitters like aces Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Anderson is 10-9, with a 3.69 ERA this season, compared to Wood, who is 12-12 with a 3.84 ERA and 5-6 with a 4.35 ERA since joining the Dodgers at the Trade Deadline. Anderson is also coming off a win, as he allowed two runs in 7 2/3 innings against the Giants on Thursday.

"All that stuff is out of our control," Wood said. "Everyone in here is trying to win these last two games and then whatever happens, be ready to fill our role."

One thing that might determine the starter is where the game is being played. The Dodgers currently have a 1/2 game lead for home field advantage over the Mets and Wood is much more effective at home. Since joining the Dodgers, he has a 2.41 ERA at Dodger Stadium, compared to a 6.14 ERA on the road. It's a small sample size, but in the context of his career, Wood has a 3.09 ERA in home starts, compared to a 3.47 ERA on the road.

"I don't think it should make a difference for the most part," manager Don Mattingly said. "It's still 60 feet, six inches. You have to make pitches, get ground balls."

Wood spent two and a half seasons in the NL East with the Braves, but he doesn't believe his added experience against the Mets will hold much weight, as New York has retooled its lineup with additions such as Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson.

"Their team is a whole lot different, their lineup, than it has been in the past two and a half years," Wood said. "The guys that wake up every day and look forward to playing in the postseason and having an impact, I'm one of those guys. I'm excited."

Steve Bourbon is an associate reporter for
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