F-Rod?

Lost in the adventures of Luis Castillo at Yankee Stadium last Friday was the reality that even if Castillo had made a game-ending catch, Francisco Rodriguez would have begun tonight’s Mets game in Baltimore having recorded consecutive saves in which he had allowed two base runners and just escaped with his life.

Tonight he did not escape, and so K-Rod has, in four appearances, one Save, one other clean 9th, two combination Blown Saves/Losses, and one pre-game argument with a guy 35 pounds heavier than him. This is no more evidence that he’s hurt or in pitching distress, than the fact that somebody finally roughed up Trevor Hoffman suggests that Hoffman is in trouble.
But in the superheated atmosphere of New York, both questions will be raised about Frankie, especially in the context of the Mets’ bullpen troubles, which have endured for a decade and proved fatal the last two seasons. The more important issue, of course, is what exactly would the Mets do if there really was something wrong with Rodriguez? J.J. Putz is out, perhaps until September. Bobby Parnell is a rookie who has been more than challenged by merely the 8th Inning role. Sean Green has been strong for a month, and in ten save opportunities over four big league seasons, he has converted only one of them, and Pedro Feliciano is only four-for-twelve.
Minor league resources? The “Closer Of The Future,” Eddie Kunz, is working set-up at Buffalo, with major league journeyman Elmer Dessens finishing the games.
There are stories that Billy Wagner has found the Lourdes of baseball and expects to be pitching in big league games in 30 days. What kind of story would it be if the Mets really needed him?

4 Comments

You’re on point, Keith: Quite a few have overlooked how K-Rod allowing 2 on base set the stage for what happened next, last Friday night in the Bronx.

How many teams have more than one closer type in the pen? I seem to recall the Mets having one of the best collective bullpen ERAs in the bigs this year. That being so, they’d probly be better equipped to handle losing their closer than most teams.

Keith,

Again, sort of off topic, but I would desperately like to know what you have to say about this column: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?id=4268999 it’s an interesting question and there’s some pretty (to me) fun facts in there, and I do think of you when I think of random facts about 1800s baseball.

Exactly Keith. K-Rod is fine and Trevor Hoffman is still awesome! GO BREWERS!

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