Relief Pitchers (1-0, 13 IP, 10 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 14 K, 0.69 ERA, 1.15 WHIP)
The Cardinals’ bullpen often bent, but didn’t break against the Braves. Kevin Siegrist helped preserve the shutout Friday and earned the save Sunday. Trevor Rosenthal and Seung-Hwan Oh finished off Saturday’s win. Matt Bowman and Brett Cecil were touched up on Sunday, but the pen responded with five consecutive scoreless innings in which the Braves needed just one run to walk off with a win.
Seung-Hwan Oh: SV (7) , 2 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 BB, 1 K
Oh earned his seventh save of the season Saturday. He hasn’t blown a save opportunity since Opening Night. That doesn’t mean he’s been wholly dominant, either. Pitching in the bottom of the tenth inning in Sunday’s 14-inning matinee, Oh loaded the bases by allowing a hit and a couple of walks.
He escaped, however, thanks in large part to his scamper to first base as he covered on a ground ball fielded by Matt Carpenter. That play extended the game to the twelfth.
Oh hasn’t allowed an earned run in nine consecutive appearances. In that time, his earned run average has dropped from 9.53 to 3.45. He has yet to string together a series of dominant outings, but the Cardinals will take scoreless innings from him for now as he continues to improve after a slow start.
Trevor Rosenthal: HLD (3), 2 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K
Rosenthal pitched in back-to-back games Saturday and Sunday for the first time all season. He recorded his third hold on Saturday and pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth inning Sunday. In ten of his eleven outings this season he hasn’t issued a walk. That’s been key to his success so far this year.
Ten of his appearances this year have gone for exactly one inning. His other outing lasted only a third of an inning. But of those ten appearances, in eight of them he’s struck out at least two batters. In total, he’s struck out twenty hitters in 10 1/3 innings pitched. Rosenthal continues to be a late-inning weapon out of the Cardinals bullpen.
Matt Bowman: HLD (8), 1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 K
Bowman earned his team-leading eighth hold of the season Sunday. Pitching in the seventh inning, he allowed one run. Although it was unearned, it was his third consecutive appearance in which he’s allowed a run. He’s been scored upon in four of his last five outings.
That comes on the heels of eleven scoreless appearances to begin the season. Bowman’s workload and effectiveness will be someone to monitor moving forward.
Brett Cecil: BSV (3), 1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 2 K
Cecil’s had an up-and-down beginning to the year, and he allowed a game-tying home run to Freddie Freeman on Sunday that tied the game at four in the eighth inning. For the third time this year, Cecil surrendered a lead in the late innings.
At the same time, those three blown saves are the only three times this year he’s allowed an earned run. Before Sunday, he previously appeared in twelve consecutive outings without allowing an earned run. He also made a nice defensive play off the mound on a bunt attempt by Ender Inciarte.
Kevin Siegrist: SV (1), 2 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K
Siegrist still doesn’t look dominant on the mound, but he’s now strung together seven consecutive scoreless outings. His save on Sunday was just the second time he pitched a perfect 1-2-3 inning. In four appearances in the month of May, he hasn’t walked a batter, which is encouraging since he issued eleven free passes in 8 1/3 innings pitched in April.