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Fernando Rodney is one scoreless inning from tying Dennis Eckersley’s ERA record

Sep 28, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

Fernando Rodney AP

There are a lot of crazy stats within Fernando Rodney‘s amazing comeback season for the Rays, including the fact that he converted his 46th save in 48 chances last night and now has a 72/16 K/BB ratio in 72.1 innings at age 35 after walking more batters than he struck out for the Angels last year.

This stat, however, is the most shocking: Last night Rodney lowered his ERA to 0.62, which means he’s one more scoreless inning from tying Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley for the lowest ERA of all time among pitchers with 50-plus innings in a season.

Eckersley had a 0.61 ERA during his incredible 1990 season for the A’s, allowing five earned runs in 73.1 innings. And here’s where it gets spooky: Rodney has currently allowed five earned runs in 72.1 innings, so if he tosses a scoreless frame next time out he’d match Eckersley’s runs and innings total exactly.

Tampa Bay has six games remaining on the schedule, so Rodney will get an opportunity to throw more than one more inning. In other words, if he doesn’t cough up another run this season Fernando Rodney is going to break Dennis Eckersley’s record.

  1. cur68 - Sep 28, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Rodney’s been Fantasy League Magic, I know that. One thing he can’t match, though: Eck’s Mustache. Also, Eck can put HIS cap on straight. There. Even if Rodney can equal or better Eck pitching-wise, he still has some work to do in other baseball areas.

    • kiwicricket - Sep 28, 2012 at 1:33 PM

      The centerpiece of most of your trade requests involved Anthony Bass…. Yes. Anthony. Bass. I figured you thought he was your most valuable Relief pitcher?!

      • cur68 - Sep 28, 2012 at 1:41 PM

        Trying to get talent for Anthony Bass is not an indictable offence (but it probably should be). Next season I shall stick with relief pitchers with great facial hair.

        ps: Good luck against J5: I’m rooting barracking for you.

  2. atworkident - Sep 28, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    I’d still rather have Jim Johnson.

    Any chance the Rays would trade Rodney back to the Tigers for Papa Grande?

    • jashton11 - Sep 28, 2012 at 12:40 PM

      In a word: No. In two words: Hell no!

  3. number42is1 - Sep 28, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    so im guessing that even if the remaining games are blowouts, on either side, they will allow him two more innings just to break that record.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 28, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      I would guess that same thing 42. And if I were making the call for the Rays…I would do the same thing.

  4. willclarkgameface - Sep 28, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Camaro haircut artists around the Tampa area await your arrival Mr. Rodney.

  5. kiwicricket - Sep 28, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    A guy who has been so distinctly average-crappy his entire career, suddenly rips off one of the most dominant seasons by a relief pitcher in baseball history…at age 35….
    Hmmm interesting….

    • mdpickles - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:15 PM

      Yup, I’m thinking the same thing. Is he a member of Eric Gagne’s 80%?

    • gerryb323 - Sep 28, 2012 at 2:35 PM

      You know, the Eck was 35 in the same season….and a member of the Canseco/McGwire A’s….of which Canseco said a member who is also in the Hall juiced….

    • jhorton83 - Sep 28, 2012 at 3:38 PM

      It is a bit suspicious, but unless he tests positive, we just have to take it for what it is. One of the all-time great seasons by a closer.

    • madhatternalice - Sep 28, 2012 at 6:36 PM

      He’s always had the raw stuff. He’s also been very hurt for a lot of his career. Maybe a pitching coach in Tampa gave him an adjustment? Maybe he’s more comfortable pitching in the southeast?

      Maybe you should not jump to conclusions about a player’s abilities? Unless you have proof that he’s been juicing, or that he hasn’t been tested this season.

      Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    • jashton11 - Sep 28, 2012 at 8:42 PM

      This is from earlier in the season, but it gets into why Rodney has been so much better this year.

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/fernando-rodney-is-ricky-vaughn/

      And in case you’re wondering, here’s his average fastball velocity for the last six seasons:

      2007: 93.8 mph
      2008: 95.4 mph
      2009: 95.9 mph
      2010: 95.6 mph
      2011: 95.5 mph
      2012: 96.2 mph

    • nascarlightningrays - Sep 30, 2012 at 6:25 PM

      Have you heard of R.A. Dickey by chance? Seriously, that’s a B.S. thing to assert. He’s shown this kind of stuff in the past. What would you expect to happen when he joins the best pitching staff in baseball, with one of the best pitching coaches in Jim Hickey?

  6. mazblast - Sep 28, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    For the last several years before this one, I took chances on Rodney, thinking he was THIS close to having that great season I thought was in him. I didn’t even bother this year. The joke, as usual, was on me. :D

    I was right on Jim Johnson, but otherwise I’ve never had as bad a year at picking potential closers as this one.

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