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October 9, 2017

Alex Wood

Phoenix, Arizona - pregame 3

Q. What is the feeling right now for you? I assume it's kind of weird and that you probably don't want to pitch tomorrow, but you have to be sort of mentally ready to do that?
ALEX WOOD: Yeah, anything can happen always, so you just kind of go about your business same way you would if I thought for 100 percent I was pitching tomorrow.

I got my work in already today. Hopefully go play the game tonight and finish it off, but if not, I'll be ready to rock tomorrow.

Q. We've seen several starting pitchers get quick hooks in the postseason so far. How much do you think that enters their mind, when they're starting a playoff game where they know a quick mistake could get them out? We saw Scherzer throw six no-hit innings, he allowed one hit, and he was out of the game.
ALEX WOOD: Every situation's different. Each game it's more heightened, and you have a great bullpen, like we have. So it's one of those things where you go out and every pitch matters, every hitter matters. You don't know how short or how long you're going to go.

So it's just about execution and going hitter to hitter and trying to go for as long as they'll let you.

Q. I know the plan is for you to start tomorrow. But do you see any scenario where you would come in today?
ALEX WOOD: I wouldn't think so. Up 2-0, I think that, barring anything crazy, I wouldn't see the mound tonight. But I feel good, so I'm always ready for anything. You never know what could happen.

Q. Related to that, in the previous two games, was there any kind of talk about maybe be ready just in case anything happens? And, if so, how are you mentally prepared for all of that?
ALEX WOOD: I wasn't sure going into Game 1, you know, if there was -- I think each day that's gone by, each game, there was a little bit less of a chance that I would throw. I told them that if they needed me or they wanted me to throw that I'd be ready.

But the plan was the whole time for me to just -- if we make it to Game 4 for me to be ready to go for Game 4.

Q. Do you have a plan when you will next throw if there's no game tomorrow?
ALEX WOOD: No, I'm just going to take it one day at a time. I would assume that I would throw some type of live if we win today and I don't pitch tomorrow. But we need to look at where we set up, depending if we win today or not, and go from there. There is no plan laid out as of right now.

Q. Do you remember what you were thinking a couple years ago when you were traded to Los Angeles, and how have you evolved as a pitcher since then?
ALEX WOOD: I was a little blind-sided when I got traded over. Especially in this day and age, being on a mid-market team like the Braves. They don't typically trade young starting pitching that's controllable for several years. So I was kind of blind-sided by that.

But after you got over the initial shock, it's always fun to come to a team that has the history and it's always going to be as good as the Dodgers have been. So we weren't even contending that year when I was in Atlanta. So getting to get traded over here and have an impact and be part of a division title was really special.

I've loved my time here. I'm a believer in Andrew and Farhan and everything they do. I think it's shown so far. Now it's about getting that last final step and getting back to the World Series and winning that ring.

Q. It seemed like every time we asked Dave Roberts the last couple weeks about the rotation, he wouldn't really commit, at least to us. How far in advance did you know that you'd be in the rotation for the playoffs, and did any of the talk about you possibly going to the bullpen, how did that make you feel given the season that you had?
ALEX WOOD: Yeah, I mean, I knew 100 percent that I was in line for Game 3 or 4 the day after my last start of the regular season. Then, obviously, all the bullpen talk and stuff, just because I've done it before and I've done well, I've always been the type of person that whatever is best for our team, everybody has one goal in mind, and that's to win the World Series.

Did I think that I would make more of an impact and be better suited to start? Yeah. I had a pretty good year, and I feel good with where I'm at currently, and this is the kind of thing that you live for.

It's about rising to the occasion. Anything that's happened throughout the year, it's kind of out the window. It's about who wants the ball now and who is ready for this type of atmosphere, and I feel really excited about the opportunity that I've got.

Q. How different are you of a pitcher from the last time you pitched in a postseason game for the Dodgers?
ALEX WOOD: Yeah, I'd like to say much different. Every year is a new year. It's one of those things where now I have the opportunity to start and I feel like the evolution of all my pitches, all three, I feel like I'm the best I've been in my career this year.

I've had some pretty good years, but this year I feel like I was able to take it to the next level, and I feel good physically, and I think that's a really important factor this time of the year.

So I'm just excited to have the opportunity.

Q. Could you discuss preparation to pitch in a ballpark like this, and how was that distinct from Dodger Stadium?
ALEX WOOD: I think everybody was just excited that we weren't playing in 40° and snow in Colorado, which is what it was there today. But you just go about it the same way you go about any start. Everybody talks about the heightened sense of this game, the playoffs and whatnot.

But at the end of the day, it's everybody around you. The fans, you guys, you start to feel that heightened sense of awareness and the pressure to put it on.

I mean, that pressure is on us every single day. This is our lives. You play well or you don't get to play at all, so just attacking the preparation the same way as we have all year, it's been a little different going and having more time between a real start, throwing the sim game and whatnot.

We've managed it pretty well. I think it's worked out good. Our hitters got three or four days in a row that we had off leading into this series, played a sim game every day, guys are getting their work in, pitching.

Now it's just about going out and executing and winning a Division Series.

Q. But just facing them, this ballpark, in contrast to the Dodgers Stadium?
ALEX WOOD: Yeah, I mean, you don't go about it any differently. Obviously teams play better at home typically. But outside of that, my approach, my game plan, things aren't really going to change much based on where we're at. You still have to execute. You still have to make pitches and get outs.

Q. You're talking about being a believer in what the front office does and its philosophy. What specific things do you like that they do and you believe in the most?
ALEX WOOD: I just think Andrew and Farhan and all the guys, they are very statistical based, but at the same time they keep a happy medium between feel and using baseball perspective in how you want to attack teams and things you could do better yourselves and so on and so forth.

I bought in ever since I came over here. There's things I can't really -- I don't want to say it with -- in terms of how I go about attacking guys and whatnot that have helped me a lot, and I definitely am a believer in everything that they do.

Q. In the beginning of the season when you weren't in the rotation coming out of Spring Training, was there motivation to show the team that they had made a mistake, or did you understand just because of the numbers that for whatever reason you were the odd man out?
ALEX WOOD: Yeah, I understood it just because the point we were at at the beginning of the year, I was the only one that had been in the pen before when I first came up. So I had the experience and I had done well. So I got it. Did I agree with it or think that was the way we should have gone? Candidly, no. But it's just about playing well and taking advantage of your opportunities, and it worked out pretty good.

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