Despite back-to-back scares from Fernando Rodney, the Arizona Diamondbacks hung on in the first two games of the series, then routed the Los Angeles Dodgers to complete a three-game sweep at Chase Field. Being swept in a series was a first for the Dodgers this season.
They now head to San Diego mired in a five-game losing streak, though still sitting comfortably atop the National League West standings and with the best record in baseball. After earning a save in the series opener, Rodney boldly stated his preference was to meet the Dodgers in the playoffs.
Rodney’s explained the stance as wanting to face the team that has often been discussed as arguably the best in history, so as to be viewed as “the best” in the event the Diamondbacks eliminated the Dodgers.
When informed of the closer’s comments, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts took a more politically correct approach, via Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:
“Fernando Rodney, huh? That’s great. Good for him. They’re a good club. Who we play in the playoffs, we don’t know that. Whoever it is, we’re going to be ready to play.”
Roberts and Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon recently exchanged pleasantries, after Maddon said he was confident in his team should they match up with the Dodgers in the playoffs. Roberts said he hopes the Dodgers will have the opportunity to face the reigning World Series champions.
In the Diamondbacks’ case, the current playoff landscape would require them to defeat the Colorado Rockies in the NL Wild Card Game in order to draw the Dodgers in the NL Division Series. That Rodney was the player to speak out was hardly a surprise but somewhat curious.
He entered in the ninth inning last Tuesday with a two-run lead. He gave up a leadoff double, threw two wild pitches, hit a batter with two outs and went to a full count before inducing a groundout to end the game.
The rocky inning brought back memories of Rodney’s blown save against the Dodgers in July when he allowed four runs without recording an out. He fared better Wednesday night, retiring the side in order.
Rodney is a career 0-3 with six saves, three blown saves, a 9.60 ERA and 2.27 WHIP in 19 games against the Dodgers.