Eduardo Rodríguez will avoid surgery for his latest knee injury, at least for now, but will also need to rest three to four weeks. That’s the decision arrived at after a second opinion by Dr. James Andrews, according to CSNNE. There’s still swelling in the knee but, fortunately, no ligament damage. Any eventual surgery would bring with it a five to six month recovery.
Rodríguez had not been planned for the three game set at New York that opens Tuesday. Those games are already scheduled for Drew Pomeranz, Rick Porcello, and David Price.
The likely replacement for E-Rod will be Brian Johnson, who will face the Tigers this weekend in Boston. Johnson was nearly impeccable in his last start against the Seattle Mariners on May 27th throwing a complete game shutout.
Losing Rodríguez for any length of time is troubling, of course. The hope is that rest can forestall surgery and that he can recover to help the Sox in the second half.
A few thoughts now on another Red Sox pitcher, Chris Sale, who is enjoying a remarkable first season with the team:
- Pedro Martinez‘ name is revered and for good reason, but it keeps coming up in conversations involving Sale, whose gritty performance on Sunday featured nine strikeouts and just one walk. The game was Sale’s sixth straight road game with nine plus strikeouts. Since 1913 only Hall of Famers Martinez & Randy Johnson have before opened a season with such a string of consecutive road starts (6 each).
- Though Sale didn’t reach ten strikeouts on Sunday, he’s got the rest of the season to match Martinez and Roger Clemens as the only Sox pitchers with that many punchouts in nine or more starts in a single season. Pedro did that four times (1999-2002), Clemens did it twice (1987-88). The three are already the only Sox pitchers to collect ten plus strikeouts in eight or more starts prior to the All-Star break.
- Sale entered this new week leading all of baseball with 119 strikeouts. He and the Nationals Max Scherzer (100) are the only pitchers in the major leagues with more than 100 so far this season. Sale is averaging 12.75 strikeouts per 9.0 IP this season, the best such ratio in the majors. The Sox’ record for most strikeouts in a season is Martinez’ 313 in 1999.
- Sale has now gone 12 straight games with at least six strikeouts and three or fewer walks. That’s the longest such streak for a Boston pitcher since Martinez also had 12 in a row such games in 2002. The next longest such streak for Boson is also the MLB record. It too is held by Martinez and is much longer: 34 straight games from April 4, 2000 to April 25, 2001.
Now, some other news items of note for Red Sox fans:
- For most of us running 26 miles is hard enough to imagine, but imagine running a marathon inside Fenway Park. The club says that’s exactly what will happen on Friday, September 15 when 50 qualified runners will have to make 112 laps around the warning path to cover all 26.2 miles necessary. Not surprisingly, this will be the first marathon held inside a major league ballpark.
- This was interesting and I meant to pass it along earlier. Back in May the Chicago Tribune wrote to say that the Cubs could learn a lot from the Red Sox when it came to a post-world championship relationship with their fans. “No sports ecosystem better understands storytelling than the Red Sox ecosystem,” the Tribune said, and we all know from experience that they were right.
- Here’s something no clean-cut green monster would try. The Mets were apologizing to fans after a rude hand gesture by Mr. Met following a 7-1 loss last week. Only in New York. Surely you’d never catch Wally doing something like that, though no one can really be sure about Tessie
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