(Busch Stadium) As the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 on Wednesday afternoon, it was Trevor Rosenthal instead of Seung Hwan Oh to record the final three outs of the game.
“Yeah, it was good,” said Rosenthal, who picked up his first save since June of 2016. “Taking steps in the right direction and was happy to be able to help out in that situation today.”
The situation wasn’t a change in the role of closer, but one of necessity as Mike Matheny explained that Oh was unavailable to pitch in the game.
“I just kind of told him, so it really wasn’t much of a conversation,” said Matheny. “I would’ve been able to tell if he was going to fight it a little bit, but he knew. I knew yesterday after we put him in and the inning got prolonged that it was going to be probably at least a day for him.”
It took 28 pitches from Oh to record the save in Tuesday’s win as he pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the 9th. And that followed the 18 pitches he threw on Monday.
“We didn’t really talk about much, but he did give me notice earlier,” said Oh, who rested by only playing catch before today’s game. “I’m going to make it be a benefit.”
He also spent time with pitching coach Derek Lilliquist, watching video clips from last season.
“Trying to build off what I learned,” said Oh. “We talked about it, so hopefully it will show up in the next outing.”
The video session likely included a review of his slider–something Matheny assessed was slightly elevated to hitters.
“Mike is on point with that,” agreed Oh. “I’m trying to get low with my slider and trying to get my location and pitch to come in the right way.”
Appearances have been sporadic in the early start of the season for Oh, who waited six days between his first two outings and then had five days between pitching in these last back to back games. But he refuses to allow that as having an effect on his pitching.
“No, absolutely not,” said Oh. “It feels like that’s just an excuse. As a relief pitcher, that’s something everyone goes through during the season. Just have to get used to it.”
“More than the outings and number of outings, I just have to be ready to go out there as a pitcher. As a team, it’s hard to focus on one player to have a perfect routine, so as a teammate, I’m just trying to work with the team and go from there.”
Besides Oh, left-hander Brett Cecil was also unavailable for today’s game.