St. Louis Cardinals bullpen: 9 IP, 11 R, 10 ER, 18 H (0 HR), 4 BB, 7 K, 10.00 ERA, 2.44 WHIP, .409 BAA
Who’s Hot: Matt Bowman
Bowman’s role with the St. Louis Cardinals increases every time he delivers another scoreless outing. He’s thrown four scoreless innings so far this season, including 1 1/3 in the series against Washington. On Wednesday, he held a 3-1 lead in the eighth inning by inducing a ground ball for the second out of the inning. It was his second hold of the year.
Bowman’s allowed just two baserunners all season (both singles), and struck out three. Mike Matheny‘s choice to use him in the eighth inning with two runners on and one out in a 3-1 game speaks to his ever-increasing confidence in the righthander.
As Brett Cecil and Kevin Siegrist have struggled early on this season, look for Bowman to get more opportunities to pitch in the late innings alongside Trevor Rosenthal, as was the case in Wednesday’s 6-1 win. Rosenthal started the inning with a strikeout, but after he allowed three consecutive singles, Bowman recorded a big out before Cecil ultimately ended the inning.
Who’s Not: Kevin Siegrist
Siegrist entered the season as the team’s projected eighth inning set-up man, but he’s yet to appear in such a scenario.
In the first game of the series, he was ambushed for four runs in the bottom of the eighth with his team already down by two. He recorded only one out and needed Jonathan Broxton to finish off the inning. Broxton didn’t do any better, surrendering three more runs.
The lefty also walked two in his forgettable outing. In 2 1/3 innings this season, he’s allowed five runs, four hits, walked four, and struck out one. The most alarming statistic among those is the four walks. He’ll continue to struggle if he fails to get ahead in counts and command the fastball.
Look for Siegrist to get the opportunity to rebound and regain trust in Matheny as a lethal late-inning option. Cardinal Nation can only hope his performance in Washington was simply a fluke and that he’ll move past it. The Cardinals need Siegrist to be the reliable option out of the ‘pen that he’s been all his career with St. Louis.