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No need to guess: K-Rod out of gas
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10/08/2004 11:42 PM ET
No need to guess: K-Rod out of gas
That's why Scioscia summoned Washburn to face Ortiz
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After throwing 38 pitches in Game 3, and more than 40 in Game 2, Frankie Rodriguez was gassed. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
BOSTON -- There were a lot of second-guessers wondering why Angels manager Mike Scioscia took reliever Francisco Rodriguez out of the game with two outs in the 10th inning of Game 3 of the American League Division Series on Friday. Lefty Jarrod Washburn entered the game and gave up the game-winning home run to Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz.

Rodriguez dominated the Red Sox for 2 2/3 innings and struck out three batters. In fact, the last batter he faced, Manny Ramirez, struck out looking. But before the 10th inning even began Scioscia realized his reliever was tired.

"Between innings we had talked to him and he felt a little bit tired," Scioscia said. "But he felt he could go back out, so being on the borderline and you know with a young arm like Frankie's, you definitely want to err on the side of caution."

When Scioscia went on the mound in the bottom of the 10th inning with a runner on base and two outs, Rodriguez admitted he had nothing left in the tank and agreed with Scioscia to bring in Washburn to face the lefty Ortiz.

"I had nothing left. I tried to go out there in the third inning and make pitches and get out of the inning," said Rodriguez, who had thrown 38 pitches on top of more than 40 in Game 2. "With that situation with Manny, I threw everything I had."

As for Washburn, he was trying to redeem himself from his Game 1 performance in which he gave up seven runs -- three earned -- in 3 1/3 innings. But on the first pitch he threw a hanging slider to Ortiz, who ended the game and helped the Red Sox advance to the AL Championship Series.

"I felt good enough to throw. I just threw a bad pitch," Washburn said. "I haven't looked at a replay. I hung a slider. Ortiz is a great hitter. You make a mistake like that to a good hitter. He'll make you pay. It was the right pitch."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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