Richard Rodriguez is getting back on track
Entering the 2019 season the bullpen was expected to be a strength for the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, the bullpen got off to a sluggish start the first two weeks of the season. Not coincidentally, key high leverage reliever Richard Rodriguez struggled during this stretch.
After a sluggish start to the season, Rodriguez appears to be back on track. Once again, not coincidentally, the bullpen has been much better since Rodriguez has righted his ship.
Against the Giants Rodriguez pitched a scoreless outing on Friday night, as well as Sunday afternoon. Following these outings Rodriguez now owns a 4.50 ERA and a 8.00 FIP this season. However, almost all of this damage came in his first two outings of the season.
After allowing four runs on four hits, three walks, and two home runs in his first two outings of the season, Rodriguez has gotten back on track. In his last 11 outings Rodriguez has allowed just two runs on four hits, one walk, and he’s struck out nine batters in 9 innings pitched.
Both runs Rodriguez has allowed during this stretch came when the Nationals hit back-to-back home runs off of him in the 8th inning on a 3-2 loss on April 13th. Even those runs were not completely his doing, as Adam Eaton, who hit the first of the two home runs, should have been called out on strikes to end the inning the pitch before he went deep.
Rodriguez getting back on track was key for the Pirate bullpen. Now that Rodriguez is righting his ship, the Pirate bullpen is once again becoming a strength.