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The bullpen issues of 2012 were supposed to be in the rear-view mirror in 2013. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.
Two of the four Cardinal losses are directly attributable to the bullpen. The bullpen lost four leads in a 10-9, 16-inning loss to the Diamondbacks last week.
With that loss behind them, the bullpen should have been ready to close out the Reds when given the opportunity.
Trevor Rosenthal blew the save on Monday night, but looked like a hero after only giving up one run. When the ninth inning rolled around and the game tied at four, Mitchell Boggs entered to keep the game tied.
What unfolded in the ninth with Boggs and Marc Rzepczynski was just sickening. When the damage was all completed, the Reds had scored nine times in ninth to take a 13-4 lead and win by the same score.
Can Mitchell Boggs be the closer while Jason Motte is still being evaluated? Hard to say.
Boggs is only 5-of-13 in save opportunities in his career. While it is a small sample size, history points to Boggs not being able to close the door in the ninth.
Rosenthal has already blown two saves himself this season. Granted, they were not in the ninth inning, but he must improve for the Cardinals to close out games. His stuff is electric and perhaps could be the answer to the closer issues facing the Cardinals.
Fernando Salas and Joe Kelly have not pitched well this season in their limited opportunities. Both Salas and Kelly must improve quickly to help the Cardinals finish out games where the starter only goes five to six innings.
Long story short, if the bullpen can find some consistency, the Cardinals will be on the right side of the box score more times than not.