When Milwaukee Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez struck out Abraham Almonte of the San Diego Padres to finish the ninth inning Wednesday night, he recorded punch-out No. 1,000 of his career, per MLB.com.
It wasn't really a milestone to celebrate, though, as Rodriguez began the inning by allowing a solo home run to Rene Rivera, resulting in his fifth blown save of the season. While he was able to finish the frame without any more damage done, the Brewers eventually lost the contest on Rivera's walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th.
Frequently overlooked in the cloud of a tough loss, Rodriguez became the ninth member among the top 20 of the all-time saves list to record 1,000 strikeouts. His 343 saves recently elevated him above former Brewer Rollie Fingers for the No. 11 spot on the career list. With just four more saves, he'll draw even with Randy Myers for 10th place.
Currently, K-Rod's 39 saves this season tie him with Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves and Trevor Rosenthal of the St. Louis Cardinals for first place in the National League. Greg Holland of the Kansas City Royals is the MLB leader entering Thursday's action, having saved 40 games for the American League Central leaders.
Rodriguez has been living up to his nickname so far in 2014, owning a 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings, according to FanGraphs. He's also on pace for a career-low 2.1 walks per nine innings but has been victimized by the long ball more than usual this year, surrendering a career-worst 1.8 homers per nine innings.
K-Rod will take an even 3.00 ERA and 0.97 WHIP into the final month of the season, where he'll attempt to aid the Brewers in their quest for the NL Central title by acting as a steady force in the ninth inning.
All stats courtesy of MLB.com unless otherwise specified.
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