ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' six-game winning streak entering Friday's series opener against the Braves has largely been due to the power of their bats. The success over that stretch, however, has been significantly assisted by the bullpen, including Trevor Rosenthal, who has stepped into the closer role with ease.The
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' six-game winning streak entering Friday's series opener against the Braves has largely been due to the power of their bats. The success over that stretch, however, has been significantly assisted by the bullpen, including Trevor Rosenthal, who has stepped into the closer role with ease.
The reliever has delivered late in games, putting an end to the Cardinals' ninth-inning problems. Rosenthal's efforts were the key to Thursday night's 8-6 win over the Royals as he came in for a four-out save and prevented a potential comeback.
"This whole season I've felt pretty good and have been doing a pretty good job," Rosenthal said. "Right now, things are kind of just clicking in big situations. I've been able to come through and help us get some wins."
The right-hander entered Friday having not allowed a run since July 20. Tiring him and the rest of the bullpen out has been a concern, as three of his six saves since truly taking over the role have been for more than one inning. But with the Cardinals' recent play, the bullpen has gotten some much needed rest, allowing Rosenthal to come in for longer appearances if needed.
"For me, the big leads are a big deal because those are days I get some rest," Rosenthal said. "We can kind of sit back and watch from the bullpen, save some guys a little bit -- it's always a good thing -- especially when you're getting wins. Usually those rest days come in losses."
A pawfect ending
After much searching and concern for the Rally Cat that had disappeared in St. Louis on Wednesday night, the feline has been found.
The cat became the focal point of Cardinals fans when it ran across the field just before Yadier Molina's grand slam. A grounds crew member, Lucas Hackman, picked it up, getting scratched and bitten as he ran with it outside of Busch Stadium. A female fan then attempted to bring the cat home with her, but she lost track of it in the City Garden.
Early Friday morning, the Rally Cat was found by the St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach. The non-profit organization took the cat, a medium haired tabby, to the veterinarian to be checked out and he will eventually be available for adoption. It's still unknown if anyone in the Cardinals' organization will open their doors to the cat.
Minor League notes
• After going 13-for-33 during an eight-game hitting streak, Aledmys Diaz has struggled as of late in Triple-A Memphis. The shortstop, who was sent down June 28, has gone 1-for-13 in his last four games (.077). He has averaged .260 in 26 games with Memphis entering Friday.
• In his first at-bat with Memphis, Stephen Piscotty made quite a statement, hitting a home run. The outfielder was sent down Monday when William Fowler was activated off the 10-day disabled list. Piscotty went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts in his first game.
Alaina Getzenberg is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis.