DENVER -- Alex Wood came into Saturday's game against the Rockies with a mile-high 11.25 ERA at Coors Field in his career.After six scoreless innings, Wood came back to earth, improving to 4-0 on the season and giving him back-to-back scoreless starts and 13 consecutive scoreless innings after a 4-0
DENVER -- Alex Wood came into Saturday's game against the Rockies with a mile-high 11.25 ERA at Coors Field in his career.
After six scoreless innings, Wood came back to earth, improving to 4-0 on the season and giving him back-to-back scoreless starts and 13 consecutive scoreless innings after a 4-0 win over the Rockies.
"You just have enough bad ones here, and you'll eventually have a good one," Wood joked. "The execution was there. This is a tough place. You never know what your ball's going to do out of your hand, and I felt like I was able to command it pretty good tonight, and that was the difference for sure."
Wood had all three of his pitches working -- a very effective fastball, changeup combination, and a knuckle curve that helped him notch double digit strikeouts in back-to-back games for the first time in his career, pairing his 10 on Saturday with the 11 he fanned against Pittsburgh on Sunday.
"Those first two innings, I was kind of searching for it, the command of my off-speed, especially," Wood said. "But after those first two, I felt like I really settled in."
Wood was impressively settled against right-handed hitters, who were 3-for-15 against him Saturday and are struggling to hit .179 (17-for-95) against Wood this season.
"He's got a funky angle coming in to them, and he does a nice job changing eye levels and using all quadrants," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "He's got a fastball 92-94 mph, he's got a changeup that's plus and he keeps it down, and he's got a [knuckle curve]. In all these pitches, he's got a good way of coming out of the same window, as we call it. So as a hitter, you have a three-pitch mix and it all looks the same. It's tough to adjust."
Wood recorded six ground-ball outs, including one Justin Turner snared to rob Pat Valaika of extra bases, diving over the foul line and throwing out Valaika from his knees. He walked only one, Nolan Arenado in his final frame, and quickly induced an inning-ending unassisted double play from first baseman Cody Bellinger, who caught Carlos Gonzalez's 107.5 mph scorching low liner at his shoe strings, then stepped on first for the double play.
"Usually when a ball gets hit hard here, it's almost always a hit," Wood said. "And when it gets hit soft here, most times it ends up being a hit. So it was nice today to have the play that [Turner] made on that ground ball, and that line drive in the sixth to get the double play was fine by me."
"He's striking out over a guy an inning in the National League," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "His walks are down. He's given up less hits than innings pitched. The guy's stuff is pretty good."
Wood concurred, relishing in the fact that he feels as mechanically consistent as he's ever been.
"Since Spring Training, my stuff has been the best it's been in my career," Wood said. "Usually when you're going good, you have at least two of your pitches going. I feel like all three of mine have been pretty consistent. That's what I've been shooting for."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver.