On Monday night, Boston Red Sox' Eduardo Rodriguez become the first rookie left-hander from the team in 43 years to win 10 games. The last player to accomplish such a feat was John Curtis back in 1972. It allowed Boston to slow down the New York Yankees' progress with a 5-1 win.
Boston's win over New York, who are competing with Toronto for the American League East division, could knock the Yankees out of the playoffs entirely. It was their fourth loss in 10 games that took place in front of 39,476 spectators--the smallest crowd for a Yankees vs. Red Sox match held in the Bronx since 1999, according to STATS.
This is apparently what Boston was expecting when it swapped lock-down reliever Andrew Miller to the Baltimore Orioles in order to acquire Rodriguez last season. The 22-year-old left-hander has been grateful to be part of the team and told the Boston Globe that "This was the best year I had in all the time I've been playing baseball. Coming to this organization last year and coming this year and they called me to the big leagues and gave me a chance to stay here and finish the season here. I think this is the best year I've had in my life."
Rodriguez did get some assistance from center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., who made two outstanding catches in left field, one going back toward the wall to rob Yankees baseman Chase Headley in the third. Rodriguez yielded a total of seven hits, three of them done in the first inning, and walked one and struck out five to seal off the game.
Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo said that Rodriguez deserves significant consideration to be one of the team's mainstays for the next season. He mentioned that the rookie pitcher is "making pitches when he needs to. When his back is against the wall he goes and gets that out and makes that pitch. I've been saying all along for now the last several weeks. He's been able to step back and execute and get out of those moments and that's part of his maturity."
The Venezuelan left-hander capped off the year with a 3.85 ERA, 98 strikeouts and 37 walks in 121 2/3 innings for the current season. He did allow one earned run or less in five of his last seven starts with a 2.08 ERA for the said duration.
However, Rodriguez will not be participating in the Boston Red Sox' six remaining games. Including his eight starts at Triple A, he already thrown 170 innings this season, 25 more than his preceding career high. The team will put him in the sidelines for now to protect against overuse.