A comfortable four-run lead got a little dicey in the eighth inning Sunday, when Tim Byrdak allowed a leadoff double to Jason Michaels, then walked Chris Johnson. On came Jason Isringhausen, whom Terry Collins hoped to avoid using because of a minor groin injury.
Izzy struck out Clint Barmes. Matt Downs followed with a double to score Michaels. But Isringhausen rallied with two runners in scoring position by retiring Michael Bourn on a pop-up and J.R. Towles on a fly ball to hand the decisive 7-4 lead to Francisco Rodriguez for the ninth.
"He tweaked his groin in Colorado. It was cold," Collins said about Isringhausen. "He's fine. He told me he could pitch. I just tried to see if I could get him another day [off]. But I wasn't going to use K-Rod for another four-out save. So I said, 'I've got to use him.' It was a warm-enough day, so I felt it was safe. And he said he felt fine."