I can't say for certain there is a real battle for who will be the Dodgers' third starter in the postseason, but if there is it's more like a game of hot potato. Alex Wood gets one of two more chances to stake his claim in Sunday's series finale against the Rockies at Coors Field.
Wood's September can be broken down into three very effective outings (one great, another scoreless) and one clunker, which might be enough at this point to grab a hold of the third spot in the rotation.
Brett Anderson gets credit for being a contributor all season, but has also failed to complete five innings in each of his last two starts, getting tagged for 11 runs and 20 hits, including three home runs, during that span.
This weekend has the potential for being a complete starting pitching disaster for the Dodgers, which was probably understandable coming in. Mike Bolsinger throws his curve 35 percent of the time, and got tagged for seven runs, including three home runs, on Friday night in the place curveballs come to die.
Anderson was generally effective in his five previous starts at Coors Field, with a 64-percent ground ball rate, and kept that up on Saturday (13 of 18 balls were on the ground, 72.2 pecent) but one ball up killed him, resulting in a grand slam for Nolan Arenado.
Wood has thrown his curve 22 percent of the time in 2015, not as often as Bolsinger. In his one career start in Denver, on July 12 with the Braves, Wood allowed seven runs on 10 hits in 5⅔ innings in a loss. Per Brooks Baseball, Wood in that start threw 17 curves, and got six swings and misses, and allowed two singles on five balls in play.
His changeup gave him trouble in that July start, getting two swings and misses in 13 pitches, but allowing singles on all four balls in play.
Since joining the Dodgers, Wood has thrown his changeup 18.5 percent of the time (he threw it 14.8 percent of the time in with the Braves in 2015) and gotten a 15.8-percent whiff rate on the pitch (9.8 percent in Atlanta), but has also allowed a .311 batting average and .444 slugging percentage on the pitch (it was .342 and .456 with the Braves).
Can Wood give the Dodgers a change of pace on Sunday?
He has retired the last 19 Rockies batters he faced, pitching eight scoreless innings while allowing just one hit 11 days ago at Dodger Stadium.
Time: 1:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA