Just in case the off-season pitching acquisitions left you wondering whether the Brewers were making a push for the post-season, Doug Melvin proved he was taking no chances when he acquired Francisco Rodriguez from the Mets just prior to the All-Star Break.
With an already solid closer in John Axford, many wondered what the two closers roles would be as the season progressed. With Axford converting 44 straight saves, K-Rod was left to be the eighth-inning pitcher. He did not get any saves as Brewer
He was solid in that role, helping to effectively shorten games to seven innings for the Brewers. In Milwaukee, K-Rod was 4-0 with a 1.86 ERA. He threw 33 strikeouts in 29 innings.
Prior to Rodriguez's Milwaukee debut on July 16, the Brewers were 49-45. From there on out they went 47-21. Though it obviously can't all be attributed to Rodriguez, it's clear that his presence in the bullpen made a difference for the Brewers.
K-Rod had 17 holds in his time with the Brewers - that tied for the National League lead over that time. He did not allow an earned run over his final 16 starts of the regular season.
He made headlines in mid-September when he told a national baseball writer that he wasn't happy he hadn't gotten the opportunity to close with Milwaukee. Some fans were upset that he made waves during the playoff hunt, but I still think he was just covering his own rear end to make sure he had a chance to close next year. It didn't affect his on-field performance and didn't affect the team, so its probably is a non-issue at this point.
Contract status: Rodriguez is a Type-A free agent after the Brewers declined the $17.5 million option on his contract. Rodriguez received a $4 million buyout. In order to receive the two compensatino picks, the Brewers will have to offer him arbitration. He made $11.5 million in 2010.
Best Game: Both based on importance, but also WPA, K-Rod's best game was the NL Central clinching game on September 23.
Yovani Gallardo had cruised through 7 1/3 innings but then a single and an error put two men on with one out. Ron Roenicke decided to pull Gallardo and went with K-Rod. Rodriguez faced two batters that inning and struck them both out on just 10 pitches. The Brewers went on to score three runs in the bottom of the eighth, giving K-Rod the win.