BOSTON (CBS) — May was not a good month for Red Sox ace Eduardo Rodriguez. The lefty must be the happiest person in Boston to see the calendar turning to June.
Rodriguez finished his May with a fourth straight defeat, surrendering six runs over 4.2 innings in an 11-2 Boston loss down in Houston. It was the second straight game that he failed to make it out of the fifth inning.READ MORE: Cam Newton May Be Back On Field This Week For Patriots Mandatory Minicamp
In his six starts in May, Rodriguez went just 1-4 with a 7.28 ERA. He’s 5-4 and his ERA now sits at 5.64 on the season, thanks mostly to a 4-0 record in April.
The Astros didn’t hit Rodriguez hard on Monday, with many or their runs scored on soft bloopers or other hits that found a way to drop. But he allowed nine baserunners (seven hits, two walks) and six of those came around to score. Houston’s biggest hit of the game was a two-run homer by Jose Altuve in the third inning, a changeup that the Astros second baseman launched a whopping 330 feet.
That’s the kind of luck Rodriguez had on Monday. But he wasn’t in the mood to talk luck or silver linings after his most recent loss.
“I made a lot of mistakes,” he said. “That’s why they got base hits and everything like that. Every time you make a mistake, that’s going to happen. That’s what happened today.READ MORE: Blue Jays Slug 5 Homers In 7-2 Victory Over Red Sox
“It has been tough for me this whole month,” the southpaw added. “Every time I go out there, something happens. Pitches, location, whatever, it has been tough.”
Boston manager Alex Cora gave Rodriguez a lengthy pep talk before taking him out in the fifth. After the game, Cora said that Rodriguez’s stuff has been good, he just needs to get his changeup on par with the rest of his arsenal. Cora added that Rodriguez “hasn’t put it all together” just yet.
“I told him that if he throws the ball the way he threw it today, with one more adjustment, we’re in a good place,” said Cora. “I honestly feel like stuff-wise, the cutter — that’s the one we were looking for. We still don’t have the sinker where we want it, but the four-seamer was good. There were some swings and misses, so as far as stuff compared to the last four or five, even early in the season, his fastball and his cutter were the best.
“If we get the changeup where it usually is, we should be fine,” Cora added.MORE NEWS: Verdugo, Red Sox Rally From 4 Down, Top Blue Jays 6-5 In 9th
At least the Red Sox think that whatever kept Rodriguez from pitching like an ace over the last month is fixable and it could be a simple adjustment. Perhaps the best news for E-Rod is the fact that the next time he’ll take the mound — Saturday night in New York against the Yankees — the calendar will say June instead of May.