(BaseballStL) -- Edward Mujica has had the best year of his career. There's no telling where the Cardinals would be without him, probably no where close to first place. Mujica was an All Star. He has 37 saves, and only four blown saves.
His ERA is a stingy 2.26. None the less, Mujica is now a major concern as the Cardinals approach the post season.
Mujica had a chance to close out Thursday's game against Colorado but surrendered a 9th inning game tying home run to Todd Helton. He's now surrendered at least one run in three of his last four outings, with the other requiring him to record only a single out.
He's been solid for most of the season, but he may be tiring, as he's seen his ERA rise from 1.65 to 2.23 over the past three-plus weeks. He's given up at least two hits in each of his last four appearances.
Mike Matheny may have to make a very difficult decision if Mujica continues to struggle in the final games of the regular season. Can Matheny trust Mujica as the closer in the playoffs? If not, who would take his place? Trevor Rosenthal or Kevin Siegrist most likely, both are rookies who have never closed games.
Matheny may decide to "dance with who brung him" and continue to use Mujica in all closing situations, but unless "Chief" re-discovers his magic from earlier in the season ninth innings could become the Cardinals undoing.