Yesterday's loss to the Braves was cringe-worthy, to say the least. Trevor Rosenthal, working for the 4th straight day, didn't have enough gas left in the tank to finish off the Braves and they were able to score two runs in the 9th to beat the Cardinals.
Many are questioning why Mike Matheny would even use Rosenthal again in that situation, when he had Carlos Martinez warming up and Pat Neshek needed just 3 pitches to end the 8th inning.
I can understand Matheny's reluctance to use Martinez, who has a 5.87 ERA in May. But Neshek has been excellent so far this year and was making his first appearance since May 13th, so he was well rested.
Sometimes I think managers rely to much on the closer label than just going with what makes the most sense for that game.
In any case, things should get better soon.
Jason Motte is scheduled to come off the DL Tuesday and should quickly step into a prominent role in the Cardinals bullpen. Matheny indicated that he would not be afraid to use Motte in a "high-leverage situation."
It will be interesting to see who they send down when Motte is activated. I have long thought that Martinez would be the one to go, so that he could be stretched out as a starter again. However, with the bullpen issues, its more likely that Sam Freeman will be sent down and the Cards will go with their best relievers.
If that happens, Motte will ease some of the pressure on Kevin Siegrist, Neshek, Martinez and even Rosenthal, by giving Matheny one more reliable option to choose from late in a game. In addition, Seth Maness appears to have found his sinker again (0.00 ERA in 5.2 IP in May), Randy Choate will go back to being just another LOOGY (.167 average against vs lefties this season versus .400 vs righties) and all will be right in the world.
In any case, having Motte back can do nothing but help the Cardinals beleaguered bullpen.