Apr 9, 2011, 1:44 AM EDT
US Presswire photo
Ivan Rodriguez contributed to today’s win both behind and at the plate.
NEW YORK — Ivan Rodriguez’s opportunities to make meaningful contributions to the Nationals are waning. He won’t say that, but you get the sense the 39-year-old catcher understands the situation. The Nationals want to start transitioning rookie Wilson Ramos into a leading role, which means Rodriguez is about to be phased out.
That doesn’t mean Pudge can’t still contribute in some manner to the Nationals’ success and development. Indeed, he played a significant role in today’s 6-2 victory over the Mets, both at and behind the plate.
With a two-run single in the eighth inning, Rodriguez gave his team some breathing room after most of the evening had been a nip-and-tuck affair. And with his deft game-calling abilities, he guided starter Jordan Zimmermann and five relievers through an impressive performance.
Was Pudge the star of this game? No. Zimmermann, who allowed two runs over 5 1/3 innings and also delivered a clutch, two-run single, had the biggest impact on the outcome of this one. So did relievers Doug Slaten, Chad Gaudin and Tyler Clippard, who collectively escaped delicate jams in the sixth and seventh innings when Washington led only 3-2.
But Rodriguez was right there with all those pitchers, helping them navigate their way through it all.
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