Between the regular season and postseason, Yu Darvish had taken a major league mound 135 times. Until tonight’s Game 3 of the World Series, in the biggest start of his career, the Dodgers' right-hander had never failed to finish two innings.
The Astros forced him out with two out in the second inning, after scoring four runs while two more men were on base. The Dodgers will now have to cover at least 6 1/3 innings of relief tonight and several more tomorrow.
Over the last month, Game 4 starter Alex Wood has pitched only once, a 4 2/3-inning start in the National League Championship Series. After Saturday's Game 4, another game looms Sunday, but the Dodgers will have ace Clayton Kershaw on the mound then.
Alex Wood, the Dodgers’ Game 4 starter, enrolled at the University of Georgia the year after the Bulldogs went to the College World Series. But that doesn’t mean he’s never played for a title before this season.
“In high school, won a state championship,” he said. “Lost my junior year. And after that, nothing notable. So this is my first massive experience in terms of a championship.”
The Dodgers rely on advanced analytics more than many teams do. And though manager Dave Roberts studies the numbers, he said he augments that information with what his eyes and his gut tell him.
“I take it all in,” he said. “I have the privilege of watching these guys every single day practice. And seeing how a guy is feeling, knowing what's going on in his life, how he's feeling that particular day.
“The metrics are a very good baseline. These are facts. But I think that me having a relationship with the players, the coaches having a relationship with the players, me relying on the coaches, and me kind of baking that all in, helps me make certain discussions, in game, lineup construction, defensive positioning. One is really not more important than the other one for me — I think they're both tangible.”