Old friend Eduardo Rodriguez set to face Red Sox in series finale
Red Sox Nation will be seeing a familiar face out on the mound on Wednesday afternoon at Comerica Park when the Boston Red Sox face off against the Detroit Tigers in the final game of the three-game series. That old friend is none other than Eduardo Rodriguez.
Rodriguez pitched for the Red Sox for six seasons from 2015 to 2021, missing the 2020 season due to myocarditis stemming from COVID-19. He helped the Sox win the 2018 World Series when he pitched to a record of 13-5, 3.82 ERA, and 146 strikeouts in 129.1 innings.
E-Rod’s career pitching line with the Red Sox in those six seasons was 64-39, 4.16 ERA, 856.2 innings pitched, 892 strikeouts, 1.313 WHIP, and came in sixth in the Cy Young voting in 2019. That year, he posted a 19-6 record with a 3.81 ERA, 213 strikeouts in 203.1 innings pitched, a 1.33 WHIP, and a league-leading 34 games started.
This past offseason, the Tigers signed Rodriguez to a five-year deal worth $77 million hoping the veteran left-handed pitcher performs as their ace to guide a young pitching staff.
"“This is a team hungry to win, which is what I like,” Rodriguez said Monday via Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. “I wanted to start over with a new team and now I’m here.”"
Rodriguez is taking on the responsibility of being that veteran presence in the Tigers clubhouse. He is ready to start being the big brother that younger players look up to rather than the little brother he was with the Red Sox. He gained a ton of experience from guys like Rick Porcello, Clay Buchholz, David Price, Chris Sale, and Nathan Eovaldi.
He is hoping to use that experience and teach the young pitching staff what it means to be a championship-caliber team.
It will be a little weird seeing the 29-year-old with the Detroit logo etched on the front of his jersey rather than his favorite blue Red Sox uniform that he always chose to wear.
Former teammate, Xander Bogaerts, is excited to face off against Rodriguez even though it will feel a little different.
"“It will be strange,” Bogaerts told reporters via NESN. “Eddie was more than my teammate. He was a good friend. I’m glad for him. I wasn’t surprised that he wanted to come here. He wants to be a teacher like others were for him.”"
Meanwhile, former battery mate, Christian Vazquez, is geared up and ready for the matchup.
"“Write this down, I’m going to bunt on him,” Boston’s backstop said. “That’s a free hit against him.”"
Hopefully, the Red Sox hitters know a little more about E-Rod than he knows about the Sox hitters when Wednesday comes around. I would suspect Alex Cora has provided his guys exactly how to attack the left-hander. It will also be interesting to see if Rodriguez will be tipping pitches like he was known to do throughout his tenure in a Sox uniform.
Either way, the game plays out, we will always remember that epic 17-pitch battle against now fellow Detroit Tigers teammate, Austin Meadows, in Game 4 of the ALDS last year. E-Rod showed us just how much determination and grit he gave to the Fenway faithful over his years.
"“I’ll never forget the  World Series. I made my major league debut with the Red Sox. I loved my teammates there. I loved the history we made. But it was time for me to go,” Rodriguez added."
I wish E-Rod luck in Detroit this year; just not on this particular Wednesday afternoon.