via Miami Herald
Alex Wood shows excitement after strong performance
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Alex Wood never tried to act too cool to get excited when pitching in the big leagues as a rookie, and the Atlanta Braves left-hander didn’t try to downplay his performance against the Red Sox and David Ortiz on Friday at sold-out Jet Blue Park at Fenway South.
“I definitely felt pretty darn good today,” Wood said after allowing two hits – singles by Grady Sizemore – in three scoreless innings of a 4-1 Braves loss. “I really felt like my rhythm and timing of everything was so fluid today, like it was the middle of the season for me. Had all three (pitches) working. Whenever I can do that, I usually have a pretty good day.”
Wood, who is competing with Freddy Garcia for a spot in the starting rotation, fired 28 strikes in 39 pitches and had no walks and two strikeouts, including Ortiz looking with a runner at first and one out in the first inning. Wood froze the veteran Red Sox designated hitter with a knee-buckling breaking ball for strike three.
“I threw him some good fastballs in and out early, and I ended up throwing him a really good breaking ball,” Wood said. “That wasn’t the only good one I threw today; if anything, I was probably most excited about that. I was able to throw my breaking ball consistently for strikes. If I can continue to do that, it’s going to be really huge for me.”
Wood feels like he belongs, but still in awe of stars
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Most young pitchers pretend not to notice when All-Stars step into the batter’s box. And then there’s Alex Wood. Wood, a 23-year-old southpaw for the Braves, was still in college less than two years ago, so he’s not afraid to express awe at facing a batter likeDavid Ortiz.
Wood, who shot through Atlanta’s Minor League system at a stunning pace, tossed three scoreless innings against the Red Sox on Friday, and he struck out Ortiz in the second inning. Wood got Ortiz looking on a breaking ball, and he spoke later in the day about what that meant to him.
“You could definitely feel Big Papi’s presence when he got in the box. He has that swagger about him,” said Wood, admitting an elemental fact that many pitchers would rather deny. “He just gets in the box and it’s like, ‘Well, darn. That’s Big Papi.’ He’s such a great hitter and he’s done so many great things. It was pretty neat to throw to him and [Dustin] Pedroia and some of those other guys today.”
Braves fall to Red Sox 4-1
Heyward hits 2nd home run of spring training
Ortiz had struck out four times and walked once before his first hit of the exhibition season.
Left-hander Felix Doubront, making his second start, allowed two hits in four scoreless innings with three strikeouts.
Alex Wood, a left-hander trying to become Atlanta’s fifth starter, gave up two hits with two strikeouts in three scoreless innings.
A three-run Boston rally off right-hander Cody Martin in the seventh gave the Red Sox a 4-1 win.
Atlanta Braves Make Classy Move To Ban Sunglasses On Hats
There are teams around the world that forbid their players from doing certain things, stated either in their contract or known as the player joins the team. One of the most famous cases is for the New York Yankees: You aren’t allowed to have facial hair of any kind.
The Atlanta Braves have reportedly taken a step like this, making a “rule” of sorts that forbids players from putting their sunglasses on the bill of their caps. Scott Miller, a former CBSSports.com baseball writer, tweeted the news out just a few days ago:
“Love that the #Braves forbid sunglasses resting on caps above bill over logo. Organizational respect of logo. #Classy” – Scott Miller (@ScottMillerBbl)
In 110 percent agreement, the news should spread some sign of respect toward the Braves’ front office, management or coaches (whichever decided on the idea). It would be a very good idea for the rest of the league to take notice of this and hopefully fall in line.
The team is showing great respect to the organization itself and respecting their logo. However, more than their logo, they don’t want their players covering up the team that they represent. The players should have no problem with this, because their team is paying them a lot of money so it shouldn’t be an issue.