Eduardo Rodriguez, Alex Cora reacting to the strong start to the left in the fourth match


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Rodriguez made five or more innings, allowing only two rounds after a lackluster start to Game 1.

Alex Cora congratulates Eduardo Rodriguez after the start of the fourth game. Photo: Barry Chin / Globe Staff

Eduardo Rodriguez was not originally supposed to start Game 4 of the ALDS System on Monday. Nick Pivetta was the guy to put it first, but that plan blew up when the Red Sox used him for four rounds of rest in their Game 3 win the day before.

Therefore, Red Sox manager Alex Cora didn’t have much choice but to start Rodriguez in the series winning Game 4 series, even if he only had a three-day break and wasn’t as impressive at the start of Game 1.

In the first game on Thursday, Rodriguez made 1 and 2/3 runs, allowing him to run twice on two strokes, walk twice, and hit one. On Monday, he threw more hits towards the break than he did on Thursday, hitting Wonder Franco and Brandon Lowe for retirement in the standings.

Rodriguez said it was “really special” for him to have the opportunity just to start on Monday after his start in the first game.

“I mean, going into the match I was feeling really good,” Rodriguez said. “When I got on the field and was preparing for the match, I was feeling really good. I know everything, I know my sanctuary. It was a relief to have a second chance.”

Rodriguez continued to play aggressively, retiring every Rise hitter on his first time through the rankings. Randy Arosarina’s single to start the fourth didn’t stop him, either, as the next three hitter retired after the Red Sox had led 5-0 in the previous inning.

Rodriguez allowed a run in fifth, with Jordan Loblot scoring after going ahead on the fly and a player option. But Rodriguez didn’t get himself into trouble in Game 4 as he did in Game 1, where he went more than five innings without a walk.

There was one difference that Rodriguez felt was noticeable from his start in Game 4 compared to the start of Game 1.

“The Fastball site,” Rodriguez said. “If you have your own Fastball position, the rest of your pitches will do just fine. As a novice player, this is the first thing you must have in order to have a good match. If you locate your Fastball, the rest is money.”

Rodriguez faced only one hitter in the sixth inning, which allowed him to take a double lead over Kevin Kiermayer. Cora remembered Rodriguez’s start in Game 4 of the 2018 World Championships, which came after Nathan Evaldi – who was due to start that game – had provided six rounds of rest the night before.

“It was very similar to what he did in LA (in 2018),” Cora said. “We burned our key player yesterday trying to win knowing Eddie was capable. He is talented.

“The same thing he did in LA, except the manager took him earlier in this match instead of leaving him with two facing one right,” Cora joked.

Kiermayer scored later in the inning when Tanner Hook allowed Homer two rounds to land Wonder Franco. But Cora was more than satisfied with Rodriguez’s performance, calling it “fantastic”.

“It was amazing. Good Fastball. Good change. Cora said. “The lineup against the lefties has been really good lately. They were hitting the ball really hard, starting with Randy [Arozarena] – It was amazing. wandering [Franco] From the right side is very dangerous.

“Eddie – he has been fantastic. I am so happy for him. Everyone knows what happened last year and what happened in the ups and downs of this season. For him to get out there and give us a chance to win, it means a lot.”

As Cora hinted, Rodriguez missed the entire 2020 season due to myocarditis, a heart condition that followed his bout with COVID-19. In his first year, Rodriguez didn’t live up to the billing many were hoping for, going 13-8 with a 4.74 ERA in the regular season.

Cora shared how happy he and the rest of the Red Sox are for Rodriguez after how the past year has gone for him.

“They love him at that club,” Cora said. “He’s been here for a while. He’s been through a lot as a player with his injuries, last year he’s healthy and he’s one of the candidates. He’s grown up to be a captain too. You see him, the way he does his job, the way he handles the game, the way he prepares physically. right Now.

“You see the difference. If you put in videos of Eddie two years ago and now, he’s physically another guy. He understands his strengths and weaknesses, and he keeps making adjustments. Four days ago, whatever it was, he was pretty mediocre. I mean, 1 2/ 3 in Game 1 of ALDS, and he worked really hard between the start to get to that point, and he was fantastic tonight.”

With goggles on after partying with his teammates, Rodriguez kept things in perspective as well.

“It means a lot. It means everything,” Rodriguez said. “After everything I’ve been through, getting the chance to be here and blow champagne with my teammates is something I really appreciate. Just say thank God for giving me the opportunity to be here.”

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