April 15: Cardinals (7-5) @ Pirates (6-6)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

The Cardinals kick off a 10-game road trip amid questions about the back end of their bullpen, which unraveled again in Sunday’s loss. Asked this afternoon whether changes in roles could be on the horizon, manager Mike Matheny said: “I think that’s where we are. We’ll see how it plays out and how each guy is feeling on a particular night. We’ll make adjustments as the game or matchups tell us we need to make adjustments.”

Matheny didn’t term this a closer-by-committee approach, but it’s clear that this is a change in position from Matheny, who, until today, was firm in his stance that Mitchell Boggs would continue getting the save opportunities. With roles no longer set, any number of relievers could fill in late in games. Edward Mujica would seem a likely candidate to scoot at least into an eighth-inning role. Randy Choate and Joe Kelly could also find themselves in the late-inning mix, too.

“As soon as Motte went down, there was a need, at least in our mind, to give that clear message that this is our guy right now,” Matheny said of Boggs. “We continue to stand by the fact that we believe Mitchell can get outs in the ninth inning. But there are times through every season that you have to look around and say, ‘What do we need to do to give ourselves the best chance?’ The best chance may be Mitchell in the ninth. It may be one of the other guys.”

More on the bullpen situation in today’s cardinals.com notebook.

In other news, all players will be wearing No. 42 today in honor of Jackie Robinson Day.

CARDINALS LINEUP:

  1. Jon Jay (CF)
  2. Matt Carpenter (2B)
  3. Matt Holliday (LF)
  4. Allen Craig (1B)
  5. Carlos Beltran (RF)
  6. Yadier Molina (C)
  7. David Freese (3B)
  8. Pete Kozma (SS)
  9. Lance Lynn (RHP)

PIRATES LINEUP:

  1. Starling Marte (LF)
  2. Travis Snider (RF)
  3. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  4. Garrett Jones (1B)
  5. Neil Walker (2B)
  6. Pedro Alvarez (3B)
  7. Russell Martin (C)
  8. Clint Barmes (SS)
  9. James McDonald (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

1 Comment

Boggs gets lucky again. The home plate umpire must feel for him. He certainly gave Boggs the pitch calls tonight. When is the cardinal nation going to speak up and tell the management they want a real man to close our games for the win. Instead of chewing seeds or better yet their finger nails every time Boggs enters they or any other the clowns they have in the bull pen to come in and these games after winning the whole game in the late innings. This kind of ball and a long road trip hopefully will wake Mo and the owner and spend some money on a closer.

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