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Red Sox manager Alex Cora was right in letting Eduardo Rodriguez get 19th win

Alan Greenwood

One reason to be an Alex Cora fan is that the man is honest – or an extraordinary actor.

For those who stopped watching the 2019 Red Sox when they clinched October tee times, Eduardo Rodriguez posted his 19th victory Tuesday night in a 12-10 win over the Rangers.

It was one of, if not the worst start Rodriguez has made this season. And when it was over, Cora confirmed the obvious:

“If we were in the hunt or something like that, in the middle of the wild-card race, he was probably going to be out in the first inning because he was off,” Cora said, as reported by the Associated Press.

The Red Sox scored four in the first. Rodriguez committed a cardinal sin for pitchers, serving up four runs for Texas in the bottom of the inning.

From there, Rodriguez slogged through four more innings to become the pitcher of record. The collapsible Red Sox bullpen did its best to deny Rodriguez the win, but his 113 pitches to achieve 15 outs stood up, even if it didn’t stand tall.

After Rougned Odor hit a two-out, two-run homer in the fifth, Cora made a trip to the mound but left his hook in the dugout.

“I wasn’t going to let it get ugly. It was kind of ugly, but at the same time, he’s still our best pitcher,” Cora said. “I told him, ‘Hey you deserve this. I’ll give you one more but you better get him out. This is it.’?”

Cora may have inspired a few heads to explode, but he did so for a good reason. Rodriguez has been a late-blooming big-league pitcher; ending the season with 20 wins would provide quality inspiration.

BRADY BABBLE: In his weekly radio interview with Jim Gray, his personally approved interviewing binky, tried selling the point that he had zero impact on Antonio Brown’s coming or going.

“I don’t get asked. I just show up and do my job. I’m an employee like everyone else,” Brady said, presumably with a straight face.

TIME TRAVEL: Sept. 26, 1959 – “Pop Warner Football League, an innovation in Nashua, has drawn the interest of the young boys. Over 400 applied for positions on the two elevens for which sponsors have been secured.

“They need more sponsors to fill the need.”

Sixty years later, all youth sports still need more sponsors.

AND FINALLY: While we have focused on the lack of pitching and Major League Baseball’s ineptitude at speeding the pace of play, consider this another warning sign:

There have been more strikeouts this season than ever – 41,467 after Tuesday’s games. And this marks the 12th straight year of increased strikeouts.

Is Mark Belhorn now a universally respected hitting guru?

Contact Alan Greenwood at 594-1248, agreenwood@nashuatelegraph.com.or @Telegraph_AlanG.