The St. Louis Cardinals carried a lead into the ninth inning in Seattle on Friday night only to allow their “closer” to fail to do his job. Time for a change.
I have tried with all honesty to show patience for the St. Louis Cardinals closer, Trevor Rosenthal, but, after last night’s surrender, I simply cannot stomach his appearances in the ninth inning until something changes.
Let’s take a quick look at his appearance in last night’s game. The Cardinals fought a difficult battle against a left-handed pitcher they had never faced. Taking a 0-1 loss into the eighth inning behind a decent performance from Carlos Martinez, the Cardinals struck for three runs in their half of the eighth against the Mariner bullpen.
In the bottom of the eighth, Seung Hwan Oh entered and surrendered zero hits while striking out one batter. I felt confident that the Cardinals had gone into Seattle and had extended the Mariner losing streak to seven games. I was wrong.
After going down with a fight in the top of the ninth (albeit scoring no runs), Rosenthal entered. Each time Matheny sends Rosy to the mound, I believe we Cardinal fans hold our collective breaths. Friday night was one of those nights and one in which our worst nightmares came true.
Rosenthal entered the bottom of the ninth and promptly gave up a double. My heart sank. With no one out, Rosy walked the next batter. My heart sank again and my frustration rose.
How was it obvious to me that Rosenthal lacked his stuff but not obvious to anyone on the Cardinals bench? From just watching the first two batters faced, I noticed that Rosenthal simply didn’t (and actually hasn’t seemed to have for a while) have his stuff and couldn’t command what he did have.
Facing Adam Lind– who writers had at one time speculated the Cardinals were going to pick up in the offseason to spell their first base need- Rosenthal simply came unprepared unless his preparation was to lose for the Cardinals.
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Let me say that I do not believe that Rosenthal wants to lose, but I do feel that something is awry. In the at-bat against Lind, Rosy lost the battle by allowing this power bat to burn us for the walk-off.
This loss was just one of the Rosy’s recent struggle. In his past seven games, Rosenthal has pitched a total of only four complete innings having surrendered twelve hits and eight earned runs while only striking out six batters. This accounts for a massive 18.00 ERA and 4.25 WHIP. Not acceptable for a closer.
Is this a recent phenomenon? When looking at his records from this season, it appears that something took a turn for Rosenthal at the start of June. Beginning with his appearance against the Giants (a game in which his ERA was 3.71), Rosenthal’s ERA started climbing. Friday night’s loss in Seattle accounted for his highest ERA of the season at 5.63.
As I said at the start, I have tried to show patience but I just don’t think it is okay to do so now. In looking at Rosenthal’s game logs, especially in June, I feel that we fans (and maybe the team as well) are not privy to an injury or something else that is preventing Rosenthal’s success. I think it is time for a change.
Whether Rosenthal is placed on the DL or simply given a great number of days off, I feel it is paramount that he not appear in the ninth inning for quite some time. Please, Matheny, use someone like Oh or Kevin Siegrist and give all of us a break!