New York Mets

Mets' Francisco Rodriguez, Despite Troubles, May Hold Key to the Season

NEW YORK - APRIL 28:  Francisco Rodriguez #75 of the New York Mets celebrates the final out against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 28, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Rachel MarcusCorrespondent IAugust 14, 2010

Francisco Rodriguez's recent altercation at Citi Field with his girlfriend's father may have come as a surprise to many around baseball.

But his downhill spiral has not.

K-Rod's most recent mess-up only sheds light on the fact that he has been disappointing this whole season. But that was just on the field. Now he's decided to blow it off the field as well.

Throughout the season, K-Rod's continued to blow save performances in what seemed to be a once-a-week affair. Unacceptable, especially from a closer who is supposed to be one of the best in the game. Just a couple of years back Rodriguez had the most saves in a season ever.

But that has not been the case this year. Now, K-Rod has been far from disastrous. But at the same time, he has been performing way below his capable level.

As Billy Wagner, who often had Mets fans holding their breath, collects save after save for hated rival Atlanta, K-Rod collects a save or two here and there, while somehow managing to blow one in between (it seems like he's blown more than five games).

Is K-Rod the sole reason why the Mets are almost 10 games back in the division? No. And not every closer is perfect. That's for sure. But had K-Rod saved just two or three more instead of blowing them, the Mets could be a little bit closer to the Wild Card.

But now, all of those on the field problems seem unimportant in light of his most recent mess-up that caused him to be arrested and suspended by the Mets for just two days.

With this issue likely looming over K-Rod's head, do the Mets really want him saving precious games for them?

That issue is up for debate. On one hand, he may be out to strike out everyone out that he sees. Or he could be very distracted. Who knows. We're not in his mind.

K-Rod's run-in with the law presents the issue not just regarding his ability to perform, but also brings up the topic of the Mets' bullpen woes. Not to mention their laundry list of other woes.

Since being just a half game out of first place in the NL East not so long ago, the Mets have taken a tumble similar to last season's, when they finished the season on a not-so-good note. 

Fortunately for the Mets, they are still within reasonable reach of the wild card. All it takes is a winning streak to propel oneself back into the race.

But for a winning streak to occur, they have to get their offensive performances back on track (ditch the minor leaguers and put some real bats in there). They also need to have replicas of Johan Santana's recent masterpiece. 

Of course it takes a lot for this to happen, but it is not out of the question. I mean, this was a pretty good team before they began their free fall.

And oddly enough, it may start with K-Rod. He, like the Mets, have fallen down. Way down. But if he can respond well to this and pitch like he is capable of, both him and the Mets can at least attempt to find their way back to the top.

And if both parties are lucky, then they may just find success. Maybe. This is the Mets we're talking about.

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