K-Rod moves into tie for 10th on all-time saves list
Brewers closer pulls even with Myers with 347th save of career
PITTSBURGH -- With each move up a spot on baseball's all-time saves list, Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez has insisted it's a milestone to savor in the offseason. Would that pattern hold Saturday night, when he moved into the Top 10?
"I'm not quite there yet," Rodriguez said. "I'm tied. I'm not solo yet."
With six pitches, Rodriguez pitched a perfect ninth inning to finish a 1-0 Brewers win over the Pirates at PNC Park. It was the 43rd save of his resurgent season and No. 347 of his career, tying left-hander Randy Myers for 10th on the all-time list.
Since taking over the closer's role on Opening Day because of Jim Henderson's troublesome shoulder, Rodriguez has passed Jeff Montgomery, Goose Gossage, Tom Henke, Robb Nen, Rick Aguilera, Todd Jones, Jose Mesa, Roberto Hernandez, Francisco Cordero, John Wetteland and Rollie Fingers on the list.
Next is Troy Percival at 358 saves. Since the Brewers only have seven regular-season games remaining, Rodriguez will have to wait until next year to challenge his former Angels teammate.
"I'm going to take it with a lot of pride, definitely," he said of Saturday's milestone. "Especially with my family here with me, enjoying this moment, it's priceless for me."
Rodriguez had high praise for the Brewers' relievers who teamed with him and starter Matt Garza on a six-hit shutout, and the 69th 1-0 victory in franchise history. The Pirates threatened to deny Rodriguez a save opportunity when they rallied in the eighth inning against Brandon Kintzler, who doused it with help from left-hander Zach Duke.
Their escape was especially notable since Brewers opponents had wiped away Crew leads in the eighth inning of the two previous games.
"The last two games have been real heartbreakers, pretty much," Rodriguez said. "Since last week, every single game for us is must-win. To rebound from the last two games is huge for us. Hopefully, we can carry this momentum and keep rolling."