Alex Wood, the Braves scheduled starter Sunday against Miami, may have done his collegiate pitching at Georgia, but he was in no particular mood to break down the Bulldogs-Clemson game.
Hey, it’s not like they were sweating his upcoming matchup with Giancarlo Stanton over at Sanford Stadium. Baseball questions only, he asked, even as college football filled the TVs in the clubhouse Saturday afternoon.
OK, two come to mind in advance of Wood going for his 10th win of the season — a nice little plateau to reach for a 23-year-old in his first full season in the rotation.
Still ranked next-to-last among National League starters in least run support — the 2.89 runs per game provided by his offense just a little ahead of the 2.69 San Diego gives Eric Stults — has he begun giving the stink eye to his any of his hitters yet?
“Nah. It’s one of those things: You gotta control what you can control,” he said.” No mistake, I’ve had some pretty tough match-ups (on the mound). I like the challenge; I feel it makes me better, feel it will make me better down the stretch.”
And as a follow-up, then, even with double-digit wins in reach, is it fair to say Wood places diminished importance on the won-loss record? (After all, he has the second lowest ERA among Braves starters — 3.09 — and yet a quite ordinary 9-10 record).
“Anybody starter would be lying to you if he didn’t say he’d like to have a lot of wins beneath his belt,” he said.
“At the same time, the only wins and losses that matter are those that go in front of the Atlanta Braves,” Wood continued. “As a pitcher, wins and losses for a starter have just about as much weight as wins and losses for a reliever, in my opinion.
“If you’re going out there and you have good numbers across the board and you’ve given your team a chance to win every time out that’s your ultimate goal, that’s what you can control.”
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