Monday, April 8, 2013

Cardinals bullpen is struggling without Jason Motte

After a quality start against the Reds today, Jaime Garcia got to sit on the bench and watch the Cardinals bullpen implode, costing him a win and the Cards the game.

Trevor Rosenthal started it off by blowing a save in the 8th, giving up a run to tie the game, before Mitchell Boggs and Marc Rzepczynski came on in the 9th to allow a combined 9 runs and make a close game into a laugher.

However, this is nothing new for the Cardinals. 

Back in 2011, the Cardinals tried everything but the kitchen sink in an attempt to shore up their bullpen.  After incumbent closer Ryan Franklin's effectiveness finally deserted him, the Cards turned to a variety of relievers to plug the gap.  Mitchell Boggs, Eduardo Sanchez and Fernando Salas all tooks turns at closer before Jason Motte finally stepped up in September to claim the role.

The result was an incredible 26 blown saves during the year, second only to the Nationals, who had 27. 

With Motte firmly entrenched in the closer role in 2012, you would think the Cardinals would have improved on that blown saves number, and they did, only blowing 22 saves.  However, that still put them as the 3rd worst team in the NL, behind the Brewers (29) and Rockies (27). 

This year, the Cardials are showing just how much they are missing Motte.  Through 7 games, the Cardinals already have3  blown saves.

Thus, Cardinals fans everywhere will be crossing their fingers as Motte undergoes an MRI tomorrow to check on his recovery from his flexor tendon strain.  A healthy Motte would allow the Cards to return Rosenthal and Boggs to their more comfortable roles in the 7th and 8th innings.

The good news is that, even with all the blown saves the last two years, the Cardinals have still made it to the playoffs each year, winning the World Series in 2011 and nearly winning the pennant in 2012.  The bad news is....well, let's just say Get Well Soon Jason!!!

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