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In a game that was being hyped as the return of Justin Verlander to Comerica Park, it was Detroit Tigers pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez who truly stole the show. Not only did he toss eight scoreless innings for the second time this year, but he also picked up his 1,000th career strikeout over the course of what would be a 2-0 victory for the host Tigers over the visiting New York Mets on Thursday.
Eduardo Rodriguez has been lights out for the Tigers
Following the victory, Rodriguez explained what was working for him, and his answer will make real estate investors everywhere smile – it's all about location!
“Location, location with everything,” Rodriguez said Thursday when asked about the reason for his recent success. “That's what has really been working for me. I feel like I'm able to throw every pitch right where I want it. That sort of thing has been working for me. Every pitch is right where I want it.”
Rodriguez would be lifted from the game by manager A.J. Hinch in the 8th inning, though he came back to the dugout with a smile and soon embraced the skipper.
“As a starting pitcher, you always want to finish the game,” Rodriguez said. “You always want that no matter how many pitches you have. I knew he was taking me out of the game, so I was just laughing.”
“I'm good with eight (innings),” Rodriguez continued. “You cover like 90% of the game, but if I got the opportunity to go nine, I will go nine. Seven innings every start is the goal for every starting pitcher. I've never thrown nine in my career, so I want to throw it so bad, so we'll see.”
As far as Hinch was concerned, Rodriguez' play gives him a “dilemma” of deciding late in the contest whether or not to take him out.
“Keep giving me that dilemma in the ninth inning,” Hinch told him.
Wrapping It Up: E-Rod has been key to Detroit's recent success
Rodriguez has himself an impressive stat line so far in 2022, boasting a 1.81 ERA across 44⅔ innings of work with eight walks and 39 strikeouts. Meanwhile, in his last five starts, he has an impressive 0.52 ERA, four walks, and 33 strikeouts.
Despite having the opportunity to potentially opt out of his contract after this season, Rodriguez only has one goal in mind right now.
“We just got to keep winning,” Rodriguez said.