(BaseballStL) -- A stellar pitching debut from Michael Wacha was wiped out as the St. Louis Cardinals couldn’t hold onto a ninth inning one-run lead against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday.
His managerial career is still young, but Mike Matheny’s decision to bring in Mitchell Boggs for a ninth inning save opportunity will be one to remember.
Boggs, who lost the closer role duties earlier this season, entered with a 2-1 lead. And then served Jeff Francoeur, his first batter faced, a solo home run with his second pitch thrown. He would get yanked from the game after walking Alex Gordon on five sinkers thrown in the next at-bat, and just before the rain would delay the game for a second time.
It would mark his third blown save in five chances this season.
The early season struggles are mounting against Boggs as the calendar starts to turn to June.
Thursday was the fourth appearance for Boggs since being recalled from Triple-A Memphis on May 19, a trip to the farm that was meant to build confidence.
His last appearance came five days ago when he allowed one run on two hits and two walks in an inning pitched against the Los Angeles Dodgers, which would be a reason to pitch him. But, again, why in the ninth inning with a save opportunity?
Even though the Cardinals have the hottest closer in the league with Edward Mujica, he has pitched in each of the previous four games for St. Louis. He wasn’t going to be an option.
The only thing that might overshadow Boggs’ poor outing might be the one put in by Victor Marte, who relieved Boggs.
Marte hit the first batter he faced, Alcides Escobar, then made a throwing error at third base on a bunt attempt before allowing Eric Hosmer to double two runs in to score. He would intentionally walk Chris Getz to load the bases before the heavy downpour delayed the game at 10:32 p.m. (St. Louis time).
The final damage at the time of the delay: Royals lead 4-2 with the bases loaded and no outs.
This mess spoiled the debut for Wacha, who allowed only one run on two hits in seven innings pitched.