Francisco Rodriguez set to return to Mets today

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Francisco Rodriguez is scheduled to return from his two-game suspension tonight, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.

Mets general manager Omar Minaya spoke with reporters before Friday’s game, expressing his disappointment in Rodriguez’s actions.

“It’s not acceptable,” Minaya said Friday, before the Mets opened a series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
“He understands that. He admits that. He feels really bad, of course.
He put not only himself, he put his teammates and the organization in a
bad light.”

Minaya said the two-game suspension without pay “was the right amount of time” for a suspension, but multiple sources told Rubin that the team likely would have faced a grievance and found themselves before an arbitrator if they tried to hand down a suspension for longer than two games. According to David Waldstein of the New York Times, Rodriguez has agreed to undergo anger management treatment, however if he somehow changes his mind and rejects the treatment, he could face further discipline. 

Because of back-to-back complete game shutouts by Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey, the Mets haven’t actually needed a closer over the past two days. Journeyman left-hander Pat Misch opposes Roy Halladay tonight, so it’s possible Jerry Manuel could give K-Rod some work.

Brandon Belt, Jaime Barrios set new modern record with 21-pitch at-bat

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Angels starter Jaime Barrios and Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record with a 21-pitch at-bat in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Anaheim. Belt fell behind 1-2 and mostly kept fouling pitches off. The count ran full on the ninth pitch and Belt would foul off 11 more pitches before finally lining out to right field.

As Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, the previous record was set on June 26, 1998 when the Indians’ Bartolo Colon and the Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez battled for 20 pitches. Gutierrez eventually struck out.