Carlos Rodon has had an up-and-down rookie season, one that seems to go batter-to-batter at times. On Tuesday night he allowed a walk and a base hit to start the game against the Angels, so there were two men on and nobody out, with Mike Trout and Albert Pujols up next. Naturally, Rodon struck out both of them, got out of that inning without allowing a run, and then cruised to a win.
Sometimes you can look disaster dead in the eye and say, "I am really good at sports, so I'll have to say no to you." Rodon was able to do that this time around, thanks to some pretty good command and the 80 slider that got baseball scouts so excited about him out of college. Trout and Pujols both struck out twice against Rodon, and Carlos finished the night with a career-high 11 strikeouts. He also went a full seven innings, which is another career first. (And no small feat given that he was at 50 pitches through three innings.)
He went to a full count with each of the first four guys he struck out, and that's basically the story of his rookie season. It's been a little all over the place, but it's shown a lot of promise. After allowing a hit in the first inning, he allowed just three over the next six. A couple of weeks ago he gave up eight runs to the Yankees; Tuesday he blew up a playoff team.
Rodon is 5-4 on the season with a 4.61 ERA; he has 101 strikeouts and 51 walks in 91-2/3 innings pitched. You can count the number of starts remaining for Rodon this season on one hand (barring a miracle run at a playoff spot), so try to catch one. I promise it will be an adventure, in both frightening and awesome ways.