Rodriguez will start Game 4 of the World Series against the Dodgers, Jim Bowden of The Athletic reports. Nathan Eovaldi was originally scheduled to start Game 4, but he won't be able to pitch for a few days after throwing six innings in relief in Game 3, giving Rodriguez an opportunity to start in the World Series. The southpaw will face a Dodgers lineup that relies heavily on platoons to exploit batter/pitcher matchups, though he doesn't have signiicantly different numbers against righties (.238 BAA) and lefties (.234 BAA). He'll be opposed by fellow left-hander Rich Hill.
Rodriguez (12-5) took the loss Saturday against the Yankees, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks across two innings. He struck out two. Rodriguez just didn't have it in this game. He entered in a tie game, but needed 44 pitches to record just six outs, allowing an RBI double to Greg Bird and a two-run homer to Gleyber Torres. The left-hander has permitted 14 earned runs in his last six appearances, covering just 18.1 innings. He holds a 3.85 ERA and 1.27 WHIP for the season and has a 144:45 K:BB.
Rodriguez will not start during the Red Sox's three-game set against the Yankees this weekend, Chad Jennings of The Athletic reports. As expected, Rodriguez will not take the hill for one last start in 2018 after coming on to pitch out of the bullpen during Wednesday's game versus Baltimore. In that outing, Rodriguez struck out three batters across 1.1 innings in his second relief appearance of the season. Manager Alex Cora said before the game that Rodriguez was expected to pitch an inning of relief within the next couple games, or else he would make a "short start" this weekend. Looking ahead, Cora appears to be gearing Rodriguez up for a relief role during the postseason, so don't expect him to make another start in October. During this weekend's series, Brian Johnson, Nathan Eovaldi and Rick Porcello will start for Boston.
Manager Alex Cora said Rodriguez is expected to pitch an inning of relief against the Orioles on Wednesday or versus the Yankees on Friday. If he doesn't make an appearance in either contest, he could take the mound for a "short start" this weekend, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports. This likely points toward Rodriguez serving out of the bullpen during the ALDS as the Red Sox seem to be readying the left-hander for a relief role. His last outing was a two-inning relief appearance versus Baltimore on Monday, during which he allowed just one hit while striking out a pair. If Rodriguez winds up pitching out of the bullpen within the next couple days, look for Nathan Eovaldi and Brian Johnson to start this weekend against New York.
Rodriguez allowed five earned runs on four hits and seven walks while striking out four across 3.2 innings Thursday against the Yankees. He did not factor into the decision. Rodriguez fought with his control throughout the start, with only 53 of his 100 pitches going for strikes. Though he has battled control for extended periods throughout his career, the seven walks on Thursday were unsurprisingly a career-worst. Even after Thursday's start, Rodriguez has only a 3.14 BB/9, his best mark since 2015. That said, this should be considered an isolated problem for Rodriguez, as he had walked only 2.4 batters per nine innings across his last 15 frames.