Joey Votto and the Cincinnati Reds Send Henry Rodriguez to Blow-Ville

Cliff EasthamSenior Writer IIMay 14, 2012

Joey Votto
Joey VottoJoe Robbins/Getty Images

Waking up on Monday morning, Henry Rodriguez is one of the last people on earth I would want to be. Oh the pain, humiliation and self-loathing that must be going on between his ears.

Every closer blows a game once in a while. Just ask Coco Cordero, Sean Marshall and even the best of all-time, Mo Rivera. In fact, it was already the third one blown by Rodriguez.

Just because you are the third closer in the normal healthy pecking order leaves no wiggle room for error.

What do you think went through H-Rod’s mind? The bases were loaded, two outs and he still held a 6-5 lead. What was he thinking when he let that 2-2 pitch go to Joey Votto Sunday? Do you think he gave the ball a good dressing-down as he threw it? “Come on, ball, go right where I threw you.”

Sometimes balls refuse to listen. Joey Votto swung at that ball as though he was mad at it. It sailed over the fence in center-field, and 28,361 people (or how many were still there wearing their soakers) went home happy.

Happy, I tell you. There is nothing like sending the team back on the road with a win under their collective belt. It was the sixth consecutive Sunday (all of them this season) that the Reds sent someone packing with a big defeat on their back. Ending 6-0 on Sunday, that sounds good.

In a game that was tardy by over three-and-a-half hours, the Reds clawed back from a 6-3 deficit to avoid a series sweep. Votto had one of the best games of his career, belting the game-winning granny along with two solo homers. In all, he was 4-5 with six knocked in. He raised his average 24 points to .319.

Henry Rodriguez
Henry RodriguezJoe Robbins/Getty Images

Let us turn our focus back to the 25-year-old Venezuelan. Just the night before, he struck out the side to notch his eighth save of the season.

Oh what a difference a day makes. Rodriguez, the hardest thrower in the National League could not just rear back and throw it this time. He should have had some mustard or something on it because Votto just mistreated it.

The big win coupled with the St. Louis Cardinals loss to Atlanta pulled the Reds to just 2.5 games off the pace.

With Scott Rolen being placed on the DL, the Reds called up left-hand batting Mike Costanzo to fill his spot on the roster. Todd Frazier is expected to get most, if not all starts at the hot corner in Rolen’s absence.