NEW YORK -- Francisco Rodriguez has a 1.00 ERA in save situations this season and a 6.30 ERA in all other outings. This, his manager believes, is no coincidence.
"In my past history with closers, there is a difference, no doubt about it," Terry Collins said. "A lot of times, that edge that they pitch with on a nightly basis is not there in a tie game."
Collins pegged his closer's recent struggles -- a 17.18 ERA on the team's current 10-game homestand -- to the emergency dental surgery that Rodriguez underwent earlier this week, a process from which he is still healing. But Collins nonetheless plans on deploying his closer as usual if the Mets find themselves stuck in a tie game in the ninth at Citi Field.
"He still is our best option in those games," Collins said.
And Rodriguez will, of course, continue to close out games. Despite his struggles in non-save situations, Rodriguez has converted 16 consecutive save opportunities dating back to April 9.