May 9, 2012, 4:16 AM EST
Associated Press photo
Henry Rodriguez served up the game-winning homer to Rod Barajas.
PITTSBURGH — Henry Rodriguez's "stuff" — his triple-digit fastball and knee-buckling slider — is as good as any repertoire in baseball.
"Stuff," though doesn't always translate into success. Especially when it comes to protecting a one-run lead in the ninth inning. As much as everyone would like to believe pitching is pitching, no matter the situation, decades of evidence have suggested there are some relievers who simply can't handle the pressure of closing a big-league game.
Whether Rodriguez falls into that category remains to be seen. He's been handed the ball in a save situation in the ninth inning only 10 times in his career, successfully preserving the win on eight occasions. That's not enough of a sample size to draw any conclusive resolutions.
This much we do know: Rodriguez is an all-or-nothing reliever. When he's on, he's as good as anyone in the game. When he's off, hide theRead more »
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- How much money can the Nats spend this winter?
- With Hamels trade rumors, Phillies are staying patient
- MLB postseason shares released, including Nats
- Former Nats outfielder Josh Willingham retires
- Trio of pitching greats on new Hall of Fame ballot
- Who is the Nats' best player at his position?
- Nationals 2014 minor league spotlight: Wilmer Difo
- Nationals 2014 minor league spotlight: A.J. Cole
- Report: LaRoche signs 2-year deal with White Sox
- Souza explains gift from Zimmermann: 'It was his moment'