April 14, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Fernando Rodney (56) pitches the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
This Series is Critical for Fernando Rodney
The Fernando Rodney Experience has been the most frightening ride at the Mariners’ theme park so far this season. After starting the season with 2 drama free saves, he has self destructed over the past week. On Sunday afternoon in Oakland, Rodney entered the game with Seattle leading 7-3 in the 9th inning. The Mariners’ closer looked uncomfortable on the mound, and allowed the A’s to tie the game after surrendered 4 runs in the final frame. On Tuesday evening in Los Angeles, Rodney was once again called on to pitch the final inning, but this time the M’s lead was just 1 run. The flamboyant 9th inning man was pitiful, and blew the game for Seattle.
Groans from Mariners’ fans in Seattle could be heard after the archery enthusiast lost the game in Los Angeles. Since then, Manager Lloyd McClendon has made it abundantly clear he intends to leave Rodney as the club’s closer. However, if the 38-year-old stumbles again this weekend McClendon may be forced to make a chance.
I wrote an article yesterday detailing 5 viable options currently on the roster to supplant Rodney as the closer. At the end of the article is a poll, and Carson Smith is currently the landslide choice to be the M’s closer moving forward.
Fernando Rodney’s antics are fun for the players and fans, but if he is unable to right the ship this weekend, his arrow may not be the only thing leaving Safeco Field. The Mariners have one of the most vaunted bullpens in the game, and it seems irrational to hand the ball to the least reliable pitcher in the ‘pen with the game on the line.
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