ST. LOUIS (Baseball STL) -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny made it very clear that Trevor Rosenthal, despite walking three San Diego Padres in the ninth inning on Sunday, is not about to lose his job as closer.
"Not happening," Matheny said following his team's 7-6 victory. "He's our closer."
Rosenthal’s 36 saves are tied for the major league lead. He’s struggled lately however, having allowed 10 of the last 12 hitters he’s faced to reach base. Rosenthal says he’s fine physically. He was well rested on Sunday, having not pitched on Friday or Saturday.
“Physically everything feels real good,” said Rosenthal. “It’s obviously uncomfortable getting in 2-0, 3-0 counts all the time. That’s not fun. It’s not easy, but I’ll keep making adjustments and it’ll get better.”
"Overall, he feels good, ball has life, looks like a timing issue more than anything else," Matheny said. "And then confidence. Which comes first, I don't know. Typically he'll come in and pound the zone pretty well. We just have to get him back there."
There’s nothing wrong with Rosenthal’s velocity. His last three pitches on Sunday hit 98 mph on the gun. He has 73 strikeouts in 56 1/3 innings this season and has allowed just one home run. His ERA sits at 3.51. He has four blown saves and six losses. After Sunday’s frustrating performance, he says he wants to get the ball again as soon as possible.
“You’d like to have the ball every night,” said Rosenthal. “It doesn’t matter what inning it is. As long as it contributes to win, and helps these guys out, it’s important.”