Francisco Rodriguez earned his second four-out save of the season in a 5-2 win against the San Francisco Giants on Thursday, the other coming on April 9 against the Washington Nationals. Still, it was hardly a smooth outing. K-Rod allowed two walks and a single in the ninth before striking out Miguel Tejada and retiring pinch-hitter Buster Posey on a fielder’s choice groundout as the Mets salvaged the series finale.
Rodriguez threw 42 pitches, five shy of matching his career high, and Terry Collins was prepared to pull the closer had one more baserunner reached. Jason Isringhausen was warming.
New York Mets
That career-high pitch total came last July 18 in San Francisco when Rodriguez allowed a game-tying two-run single to Travis Ishikawa in the ninth and Ike Davis answered with a run-scoring double off Brian Wilson a half-inning later. (Ishikawa subsequently appeared to be safe scoring the winning run in the ninth, but the plate ump botched the call.)
“I didn’t have a good feel for anything at all today -- fastball command and breaking pitch, everything,” Rodriguez said. “I felt the ball was totally flat coming out of my hand. I was just trying to make some adjustments mechanics-wise, but it wasn’t helping me at all.”
Said Collins: “I’ve seen it before out of Frankie. I’m telling you, this guy, I think he needs to have some tension. He needs to have it be on the edge. I think that’s where he pitches the best. All he does is continue to try to execute pitches. And if he falls behind guys, it doesn’t shake him up. He doesn’t just lay it in there.”
The manager then kidded: “I wish he wouldn’t do that. I’m too old to watch some of that stuff.”
Will K-Rod be available on Friday against the Los Angeles Dodgers if needed off a 42-pitch effort?
“As far as I know. I know pretty good my body, and I don’t think it’s going to affect me at all tomorrow,” Rodriguez said, although the closer added: “We’ll still have to wait for tomorrow. We’ll see.”
Rodriguez has converted seven of eight save chances, but he also has allowed 15 hits and 10 walks in 13 1/3 innings -- an awfully high number of baserunners.
“I’ve been falling behind too many hitters,” Rodriguez said. “Either I walk them or they end up getting a base hit because I’ve got to find a way to get back to the [favorable] count. That’s something I’ve got to make some adjustment.”