Thursday, August 9, 2007

K-Rod: "I meant to do that"

Francisco Rodriguez says he's putting guys on base on purpose:

"I was trying to be really careful," Rodriguez explained about his past two outings, Sunday at Oakland and Monday against Boston. "I know with (Jack) Cust, one pitch could tie the ballgame, and the same with (David) Ortiz."

Rodriguez ended up walking both players, each time bringing the winning run to the plate. "Those two games, I can honestly say I put those guys on base because I wanted to," he said. "Not because I lost my command. I was trying to be really careful."

If anyone has earned the benefit of the doubt it's Rodriguez, but one wonders why a pitcher who has always challenged hitters -- a knock on him has been that he may focus too hard on striking guys out, causing him to work harder than he needs to -- is now suddenly being careful with the Jack Custs of the world.

After a bumpy July, his last couple of outings have been solid. Still, while his strikeout and walk ratios remain respectable, they have slipped a bit from the usual K-Rod stratosphere. Nothing to panic about obviously, but if you're an Angels fan, it certainly bears watching.

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