This is the awkward side to the starting-pitching depth the Dodgers are so proud of. With McCarthy, Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu each believing they will come off the DL and rejoin the rotation within the next week, who comes out? Not Clayton Kershaw, of course, but Kenta Maeda? Julio Urias? Wood? At least two of them, for sure.
"You've got to control what you can control, man," said Wood. "I'm just trying to throw well. I've been happy with the consistency of my stuff, and if I stay consistent the results will show. I've got to keep pitching well, and whatever happens, happens."
• Dodgers put McCarthy on DL
Wood opened the season in the bullpen, yet he now has as many starts as Ryu and McCarthy. At 3-0, he has more wins than Hill, Maeda, Ryu and Urias. He's second on the club in strikeouts to Kershaw.
"I felt good tonight, had all three [pitches] going and was on the same page with Yas [catcher Yasmani Grandal]," he said. "Obviously helped we had a lot of runs. When you get leads like that, you have to smell blood in the water. Just happy the result was there and hope to continue to be consistent and get ready for the next one."
Gifted six runs in the first inning, Wood mowed through a Pirates squad shellshocked from the cancer diagnosis of teammate Jameson Taillon. Wood had six strikeouts through three hitless innings and allowed a single to Gregory Polanco with two out in the fourth and a single to Francisco Cervelli in the fifth.
But with his pitch count up to 88, Wood was removed after five innings by manager Dave Roberts.
"Really had good command tonight, and he was competing and he wanted to go back out for the sixth," said Roberts.
The 11 strikeouts were the most for Wood since he had 13 last year against San Diego, and Monday's start marked the fifth time he recorded 10 or more. He's 8-2 with a 1.84 ERA at Dodger Stadium.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.