HOUSTON — Don’t look for the Mariners to ask veteran closer Fernando Rodney to go more than one inning, as he did Saturday, on many occasions.
“I don’t like it,” manager Lloyd McClendon said prior to Sunday’s game, “but we had to do what we had to do. I just don’t think he’s that type of guy. He’s a high-pitch guy. So to have him go more than one is not ideal.”
It was a case of needs must: The Mariners were threatening to blow a seven-run lead in the late innings to Houston before Rodney stranded three runners in the eighth inning after replacing Yoervis Medina.
Rodney then hit the leadoff hitter in the ninth before retiring the next three hitters in closing out a 9-8 victory for his seventh save in eight chances.
“When you do that,” he said, “you have to pull something extra out for the next day. That’s the only difference.”
Or rest the next day.
McClendon said he didn’t plan to use Rodney in Sunday’s series finale at Minute Maid Park. Instead, McClendon identified former closer Danny Farquhar as the likely choice if a save opportunity presented itself.
Rodney worked more than one inning in just five situations over the previous two years at Tampa Bay. He secured the save on four occasions, and only once did he pitch the following day.
And when he did, he blew a save.
“It worked out (Saturday),” Rodney said, “but I know it’s not going to be something that will happen often. Maybe once a month.”
Probably not even that often.