It is easy to express concern over Francisco Rodriguez after yesterday’s 40-pitch, ninth-inning meltdown, but the reality is what happened shouldn’t be considered a surprise.
Rodriguez has been living on the edge all season, with yesterday being his seventh blown save of the summer. That’s a little over one a month, which is acceptable for closers not named Mariano Rivera.
In Mitch Williams-type fashion, Rodriguez makes an adventure out of every opportunity as he did last year for the Angels.
Rodriguez had a career year in 2008 with 68 saves, but he’s had more telling numbers this year, such as 111 base runners in 67 2/3 innings. His fastball is off and he’s been overly reliant on his breaking ball.
Perhaps the Angels knew something, because otherwise, you don’t let dominant closers get away. It’s not unreasonable to suggest the Angels forecasted a breakdown, which is why they wouldn’t give Rodriguez the money or the years.
I’m betting he doesn’t last the three years without breaking down.