The Cubs certainly gave Theo Epstein a good homecoming. They took two of the first three games in Boston against the world champions Red Sox. The starting pitching was sparkling. Jake Arrieta almost had a no-hitter and Edwin Jackson went six innings, allowing just one run. What was lost in the headlines was the player who saved both of those games, Hector Rondon.
It is not easy to go to the champs’ house, in front of sold-out crowds, and keep your composure in two close games. That is exactly what Rondon did.
“For me it’s amazing,” Rondon said after the 2-1 win. “First time here. First two games, saves. It’s really good for me and my teammates.”
On Tuesday, Rondon had to face former MVP Dustin Pedroia with two outs and the tying run on first. As Cubs fans know, this has been when the team’s closer breaks down and the Cubs end up losing.
Four pitches into the at-bat, Rondon induces a ground ball to Luis Valbuena to end the game.
“He seemed composed,” manager Rick Renteria said of Rondon. “He didn’t get rattled. He just kept attacking the strike zone. Life on his fastball today seemed better than yesterday.”
Rondon has been pretty solid as the Cubs’ closer. He’s converted 11 of 13 save opportunities. For a team that has been among the league leaders in blown saves over the last couple of years, Rondon has been relatively free of drama.
If Hector Rondon continues with his success, Cubs’ fans might have to look elsewhere to complain about.