After a stellar outing from Eduardo Rodriguez and a relatively dominating performance from the Red Sox overall in game three against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night, the starting lefty let us all in on a little secret. That breaking ball that he was throwing so effectively last night? He didn’t learn that from pitching coach Dana LeVangie. He wasn’t given this grip by one of the greats, Pedro Martinez. Instead, it was Dustin Pedroia who taught him how to throw his newest breaking pitch.
After being asked last night, Rodriguez had this to say about it, via Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald.
“It’s funny because four days ago, I was talking with Pedey in the dugout and he told me, Hey, do you want to throw a really good breaking ball? I was like, Yeah, bro, I’ve been battling to throw a breaking ball since I got here in the big leagues, since I was in the minor leagues”.
Rodriguez then explained that Pedroia showed him the grip he used to use during his days as a pitcher while in school.
As it turns out, the secret pitching weapon for the Boston Red Sox has been there the entire time. It’s been right under all of our noses and nobody had any clue.
Eduardo Rodriguez has had his struggles since becoming one of the focal members of the Red Sox rotation. He’s gone on his hot streaks where he really drives you to believe that he can be a top two guy in a rotation. We’ve heard the way Pedro Martinez has spoken about him. How highly regarded he is by the Red Sox legend. But there’s just always been something missing.
For the most part, Eduardo Rodriguez has been a fastball, changeup type pitcher with a breaking ball rarely used. But if he can get this new “slider”–if you want to call it that–into the mix, it just adds another weapon to his arsenal that will keep hitters off balance.
Something with baseball is that you never actually know if something is going to work unless you see consistent success. Sure, this pitch was biting beautifully last night against a lineup that is “okay” at best. But how will it fare against a tougher opponent? Perhaps one such as your in division rival, the New York Yankees?
My skepticism comes from one pattern that we’ve seen from the 2019 Red Sox. And I guess that pattern is actually a lack of a pattern. We’ve witnessed glimmers of hope that this team will turn it around at some point this April. But then we watch as they regress into the team we watched stumble out of the gate.
While I love what I see from Rodriguez as of late, and love this new biting pitch, can I trust that it will continue to work? And let me stress this one more time, I love the look of this new “Pedroia driven” pitch. But I’m tepid to show any sort of excitement towards it until I see it work effectively on a consistent basis.
Last night was clearly his most dominant game of the season and it came at the perfect time as the Red Sox were battling to avoid dropping the first three games of a four-game set against a team who realistically, doesn’t nearly have the same talent level.
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) April 25, 2019
If Rodriguez can continue to find success and pitch well enough for his team to win, the reigning World Series champs will get their feet under them again and get back to doing what they did last year, and that was win baseball games. Clearly, the rest of the pitching staff needs to follow suit–which they have recently–but it can begin with one guy. Perhaps they won’t be as dominating as they were, but they can certainly climb back to being one of the best teams in baseball and it all starts with a successful starting rotation.
Dustin Pedroia just needs to now work with the bullpen and they might find themselves with the best arms in baseball.
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