K-Rod didn't expect 8th call

June, 10, 2011
6/10/11
1:13
AM ET
Terry Collins wanted to stay away from worn-down Jason Isringhausen as well as Pedro Beato on Thursday night. Still, Francisco Rodriguez was not thinking about the possibility of converting his fourth save of more than an inning this season.

"The way [Jon] Niese was throwing the ball, in fact, I was thinking if he gets good through the eighth with no problem, he might go back out," Rodriguez said. "He had less than 100 pitches when he started that inning. It didn't cross my mind I was going to be coming in in the eighth."

Inheriting two baserunners with two out in the eighth, Rodriguez survived a deep shot to left by Ryan Braun as Jason Pridie made a retreating catch. K-Rod allowed a leadoff double to Prince Fielder in the ninth, but kept the Brewers off the scoreboard to convert his 18th save and finish off the Mets' 4-1 victory.

K-Rod indicated he is doing far better health-wise than a week ago, when getting two teeth pulled limited his food intake and prompted him to lose 15 pounds. Rodriguez said he currently weighs 194 or 195 pounds, down from 206 pre-tooth issue. He hopes to cross 200 pounds -- "it's going to take me a while" -- although not go all the way back to his former weight (because, he joked, that would mark the return of a modest pot belly).

"I'm getting some of my stamina back," K-Rod said. "I feel stronger as far as my body. Now I'm trying to build the strength once again and go out there and compete."
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187