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Thursday, October 04, 2012

Rays closer Fernando Rodney gets one out, sets record for relief ERA

No matter how much the Tropicana Field crowd — as well as RHP Joel Peralta — called for RHP Fernando Rodney in the ninth inning Wednesday night, manager Joe Maddon wasn’t going to use his All-Star closer unless it was absolutely necessary.

Maddon knew Rodney entered the season finale holding the single-season record for lowest ERA by a reliever in baseball history, percentage points better than Dennis Eckersley’s 0.61 (1990). And Maddon wasn’t going to risk history just for the fans’ favor.

But after Peralta gave up a two-out single to Orioles C Matt Wieters, with the Rays up just three runs, Maddon gave everyone what they wanted, bringing Rodney in for the final out.

Rodney got DH Jim Thome to fly out to left then shot his imaginary arrow into the sky for the 48th and final time, receiving another standing ovation for his special season.

Rodney improved his reliever record for lowest ERA (0.60), allowing five earned runs over 74 2/3 innings.

The District Attorney Posted: October 04, 2012 at 02:29 PM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: fernando rodney, history, rays

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   1. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: October 04, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4254256)
This I am annoyed about. Oh well.
   2. JJ1986 Posted: October 04, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4254267)
Did they just make up some innings limit to give him this title?
   3. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: October 04, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4254269)
Congratulations Fernando! Being better than Eckersley is an amazing thing.
   4. Nasty Nate Posted: October 04, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4254277)
My champion fantasy team thanks Mr. Rodney heartily!
   5. DKDC Posted: October 04, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4254278)
For some reason that stupid celebration he does makes me more annoyed than it probably should.

I wish the worst upon him: I hope he goes back to being the old Fernando Rodney.
   6. TomH Posted: October 04, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4254283)
since I traded for him in June for my Scoresheet team, I love Fernando's summer.
   7. jacjacatk Posted: October 04, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4254315)
Did they just make up some innings limit to give him this title?


You have to lower the innings threshold to 45 to get someone with a lower ERA than those two, which gets you Joey Devine's 2008 (0.59 in 45.2) and Buck O'Brien's 1911 (0.38 in 47.2). O'Brien had 7 UER runs (vs 2 ER) though, and 5 GS with 1 relief appearance, while Devine, Eckersley, and Rodney each had 4 UER and no GS. Devine also had a bunch more appearances where he didn't finish the game, so presumably more chances for the bullpen to bail him out of baserunners he put on or allow runs to score that he got charged. After a quick check, it looks like neither Eckersley nor Rodney got relieved for with runners on in their respective seasons.
   8. The District Attorney Posted: October 04, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4254321)
You have to admit, though, that breaking Dennis Eckersley's record sounds a lot better than breaking Buck O'Brien's record would have.
   9. Alex Vila Posted: October 04, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4254327)
Would you guys prefer Rodney or Kimbrel?
   10. cardsfanboy Posted: October 04, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4254339)
Would you guys prefer Rodney or Kimbrel?


Kimbrel. Rodney was a fluky year, Kimbrel has shown over two seasons that he is this good.

   11. AROM Posted: October 04, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4254348)
Earl Moore, in 26 innings for 1908, allowed zero earned runs. Can't beat that.
   12. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 04, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4254380)
I always got Jose Valverde and Fernando Rodney confused before, and this business of one of them having a fluke perfect season of save conversion, then the other one having a fluke perfect season of ERA, isn't helping.
   13. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 04, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4254389)
Where was this performance last year, you ####### #######? ####### eat #### and die, you ############# ######### pile of ####.
   14. flournoy Posted: October 04, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4254407)
Crazy that Rodney had only the third best season by a closer this year. (By my reckoning, anyway.)
   15. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: October 04, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4254411)
I remember seeing Rodney in a game against the Orioles 3-4 years ago. He was throwing both his 97-99 MPH fastball and ridiculous change up for strikes, and I thought "how does anyone ever get a hit off of this guy?" I have no idea if he can maintain this going forward (probably not), but I'm not surprised he was able to do this for a short stretch.
   16. Austin Posted: October 04, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4254460)
The four unearned runs for both Rodney and Eckersley make me curious. I don't use B-R much, and for the life of me I can't figure out how to find who owns the best single-season RA9 with a similar innings limit. Can anyone help me with that?
   17. UCCF Posted: October 04, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4254463)
I remember seeing Rodney in a game against the Orioles 3-4 years ago. He was throwing both his 97-99 MPH fastball and ridiculous change up for strikes, and I thought "how does anyone ever get a hit off of this guy?" I have no idea if he can maintain this going forward (probably not), but I'm not surprised he was able to do this for a short stretch.

It's funny how many pitchers there are like this. I remember when Carlos Marmol came up, and he was throwing those fribee breaking balls that guys were missing by 2 feet. Juan Cruz was the same way - he seemed to have better pure stuff than any of the other young Cubs pitchers (Prior, Wood, Zambrano).

Some combination of control and makeup seems to be the thing that separates the ones who make it from the ones who don't.
   18. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: October 04, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4254485)
Earl Moore, in 26 innings for 1908, allowed zero earned runs. Can't beat that.


Fred Norman in 1967: 3 batters faced, 3 strikeouts.

Only 4 guys have a K/9 of 27 and 0 baserunners, Norman and three guys with 1 batter faced each. They are Joey Dawley, Scott Sheldon, and, of all people, Kevin Seitzer.
   19. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: October 04, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4254501)
The four unearned runs for both Rodney and Eckersley make me curious. I don't use B-R much, and for the life of me I can't figure out how to find who owns the best single-season RA9 with a similar innings limit. Can anyone help me with that?


At 60 IP it's Kimbrel with a 1.01 RA.

At 70 IP it's Rollie Fingers from 1981. There are 4 guys with 70 IP and 9 runs allowed:

Rk             Player   IP R Year ER  ERA ERA+
1      Rollie Fingers 78.0 9 1981  9 1.04  333
2     Fernando Rodney 74.2 9 2012  5 0.60  634
3      Eric OFlaherty 73.2 9 2011  8 0.98  389
4    Dennis Eckersley 73.1 9 1990  5 0.61  603 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/4/2012.
   20. The District Attorney Posted: October 04, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4254503)
Bill James, from his mailbag:
They do this with some reliever every year; I'm telling you those guys have got something figured out...

One thing. . .Rodney in LA was throwing 10% sliders. They ditched the slider, which was a mediocre pitch, and had him go back to throwing fastballs and changeups. That was a good move, but he had drifted off to the slider because he wasn't that sharp with fastballs and changeups (before 2011).
   21. Ardo Posted: October 04, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4254539)
Did anyone notice that Craig Kimbrel struck out 116 of his 231 batters faced?

I saw it on Bleacher Report. Kimbrel is the only pitcher to do this over a large sample size. The only other player to strike out a majority of his batters faced (min. 10 BF) was Francisco Rodriguez, who struck out 13 of 21 batters (5 2/3 IP) in September 2002 before earning postseason glory as K-Rod.

As for Rodney, being a Detroiter I've seen a lot of him. It seemed as a Tiger that he would have command of either the fastball or changeup, but seldom both (and sometimes neither). With the Rays, he has had great command of both pitches and he appears more comfortable on the mound.
   22. The District Attorney Posted: October 04, 2012 at 07:16 PM (#4254612)
Did anyone notice that Craig Kimbrel struck out 116 of his 231 batters faced?
Yes. ;-)
   23. Austin Posted: October 04, 2012 at 07:43 PM (#4254629)
At 60 IP it's Kimbrel with a 1.01 RA.


Excellent! I thought Kimbrel would be in the running, but I definitely didn't expect him to hold the record (at least for a 60 IP minimum). It really is a season for the ages.

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