Boston Red Sox: Eduardo Rodriguez a bright spot despite loss in Cleveland

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 27: Pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 27: Pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez /

Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez pitched a no-decision Monday night, but showed that he is getting his groove back on the mound.

Take away a three-run homer in the second inning and Eduardo Rodriguez would be the story following the series opener between the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians.

Instead, the young left-handed pitcher settled for a no-decision in a game that ended on a walk-off error committed by Brock Holt.

The walk-off 5-4 win by the Indians at Progressive Field highlighted some sloppy play and bad relief pitching by the Red Sox, but did show a pitcher in Rodriguez who is finding his way back to the pitcher he was during the first half of the season.

Staked to a 2-0 lead following a two-run blast off the bat of Andrew Benintendi, Rodriguez made his only bad pitch of the game that ended up in the stands.  The three-run homer gave the Indians a 3-2 lead at the time.

"“Just one bad pitch.  The changeup was right in the middle and he hit a homer,” Rodriguez said after the game, via  “I was able to command the pitches almost the whole time.  Just one pitch in that inning and it was a homer.”"

BALTIMORE, MD – SEPTEMBER 20: Starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez
BALTIMORE, MD – SEPTEMBER 20: Starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez /

In fact, Rodriguez went on to shut down the Indians the remainder of his time on the mound.  Overall, he pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing just the three runs on four hits.  His five strike outs were further demonstration of the command he had on the mound.

In seeking his first win since May, Eduardo Rodriguez did leave the game with a 4-3 lead, but the bullpen was unable to secure the victory.

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Finding his stride

Although the team would’ve loved a victory Monday night, the performance by Rodriguez was encouraging.  Due to his knee injury, he had to readjust his delivery to the mound.  In doing so, he has thrown more cutters.  That pitch has helped him get back on track.

"“With his knee, his mechanics overall are a little more conservative,” Assistant pitching coach Brian Bannister said prior to Monday’s start, via the Providence Journal.  “His leg kick isn’t as high, and he’s not getting as much drive through the front knee.  That’s a little more conductive to the cutter.”"

The pitch has kept hitters off balance and thus, has given Eduardo Rodriguez confidence he can build on going down the stretch.

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It is that ability to mix pitches that has the young righty feeling better on the mound.  If the Boston Red Sox get him going on a consistent basis, the team will have four solid starters going into the playoffs.  A fifth if David Price makes his way back.