KANSAS CITY -- In 11 seasons of Major League relief work, Francisco Rodriguez says he has never been more frustrated.
The Brewers' eighth-inning man spoke about his recent struggles after allowing the decisive run in Tuesday's 2-1 loss to the Royals, and again Wednesday before the second game of the Interleague series.
"I'm not executing pitches when I need to," Rodriguez said. "I'm a little disappointed and embarrassed at the same time. I've got my boys out there battling for eight innings, and I'm coming in, just one mistake, and we lost the game. It's not just one game that it happened. It's been the first two months of the season.
"In my 10 years in the big leagues, I don't remember [being] this frustrated and not being able to get the job done when I need to."
The really frustrating part, Rodriguez said, is that his fastball feels like it's coming out of his hand with more life. That's reflected in data at FanGraphs.com, which says Rodriguez's average fastball is 91.2 mph this season, about 1 mph above last year.
Is manager Ron Roenicke concerned?
"I'm not concerned for the long run; I'm concerned the way he's pitching right now because, yes, I haven't seen this from Frankie before," Roenicke said.
The problem, Roenicke said, is that Rodriguez has not had command of his off-speed pitches.
"He's going to get it going," Roenicke said. "I've seen him too long, his stuff is too good."