He then had to be nearly shut down at the end of spring training and has struggled early in the season, giving up nearly as many earned runs in the first two weeks (3) as he did all of last season (5).
Well, the weirdness continued last night when Rodney closed out the game and did not shoot his customary post-game arrow. In fact, he looked either annoyed or just unhappy immediately after the final out. And if true, that may be a bad sign for the Rays.
After I pointed this out last night, the speculation was that there was no arrow because it was a non-save situation. And when the media asked Rodney after the game, he confirmed that by mentioning the non-save situation and how he only used it in non-save situations “once or twice last year” (via Marc Topkin).
But that didn’t seem accurate. After all, this is a guy that shot arrows in non-save situations in the WBC, in the middle of games in spring training, and from what I can recall, several times in non-save situations in 2012.
So I went to the videotape! Except of course, nobody uses videotape anymore, but I digress.
Looking at just the second half of the season (I don’t recall exactly when Rodney started shooting the arrow). There were three games in which: 1) Rays won; 2) Rodney pitched the final out, and; 3) it was a non-save situation. Rodney did indeed shoot his arrow in two of the games. And in the third game, neither team’s television feed showed Rodney.
In addition, there was at least one game in 2012 that I distinctly recall Rodney shooting his arrow when the game wasn’t even over. I believe it was a ninth inning of a game heading to extra innings.
So, just in the second of the 2012 season, I could not find a winning, non-save situation in which Rodney did not shoot his arrow. Here’s one example…
Is any of this important? Maybe not. But Rodney has always been a bit of a surly character that at times appears to struggle when he is not happy. Last year Rodney was happy and everything was great.
This year Rodney doesn’t look happy. Hopefully I am wrong. But if he is indeed not happy, it could be a long season for the bullpen and a troubling season for the Rays.