Giants

Giants' Wood addresses MLB's foreign substance grip issues

Giants
Alex Wood

Alex Wood addressed the elephant, or should I say spider, in the room Saturday after the Giants' 13-6 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. MLB's stickiest secret is a secret no more.

"The majority of guys are using something, whether it's for grip or legitimate enhancement of their arsenal," Wood said to reporters. "I'm not going to be the person that's going to sit here and complain. This is our reality and that's what it is now and what it's going to be moving forward and it's something you have to deal with. Do I think that was impactful on my outing today? No, probably not. I'm not somebody who has ever used anything for grip to enhance my vertical movement or my pitch profiles. It's not hard to look and see my profiles have stayed pretty much the same for the most part.

"Only thing I would compare it to, it's like playing golf and then somebody telling you that you can't use a grip on your golf club anymore. There's obviously going to be adjustments that need to be made. Was that impactful today? I don't think so. I just really didn't have a whole lot to offer today. Starters, we call days like today, you try to turn in a 'professional start,' is what we call it. Days where you don't have it, you give up some runs and you look like s--t, so to speak, but you're still able to go in there and eat some innings and give us a chance to win and that's what I was hoping to do today and unfortunately, I was not able to do that."

 

Wood had one of his worst outings in a Giants jersey in Saturday's loss. He lasted only three innings and allowed six runs -- four earned. The veteran lefty gave up six hits and struck out four. 

After his tough outing, Wood now is 6-3 with a 4.09 ERA in 12 starts with the Giants. 

Despite his frustrating outing, Wood refuses to use MLB's in-season changes on what pitchers can use for gripping the ball as an excuse.

"Yeah, obviously," Wood said when asked if it was tough for pitchers to make changes midseason. "We're put in a position like this, you have guys who go too far, have found ways to enhance things in guy's arsenals, guys that maybe didn't have a lot of success before. They find stick, they're getting 18-20 inches of vert on their fastball, spinning sliders at 3,500 RPM, breaking balls, whatever it may be.

"But obviously, this is something that has been on the radar of MLB for several years now, that they've talked about it, and then to just implement something in the middle of the season, it's an adjustment for sure, for a lot of guys. But that's our reality. We have to deal with it and make the adjustments moving forward and kind of go from there."

RELATED: Wood respects, didn't agree with Kapler pulling him vs. Phils

MLB recently announced any pitchers using a foreign substance will be automatically suspended for 10 games. To enhance spin rate, pitchers have been using "sticky stuff" like Spider Tack, which originally was used for competitive weight lifters to get better grip on Atlas Stones. 

The issue has gone so far, though, that MLB isn't even allowing pitchers to combine sunscreen and a rosin bag for better control of the ball. This is a problem that isn't going away anytime soon. Wood, however, doesn't seem to have anger towards the game for its decision.

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