Martinez Now Closing

(Busch Stadium) The actual term of closer was not used, but St. Louis Cardinals Manager Mike Shildt was very clear that Carlos Martinez will be receiving the ball in save situations moving forward.

“Carlos will pitch the 9th with the appropriate lead tonight,” said Shildt. “Then based on availability going forward it will be him or whoever’s again available to go based on how they feel.”

Since joining the bullpen last month, Martinez has gone 1-0 with a 0.96 ERA (9.1 IP/1 ER) and has also recorded saves in each of his last two appearances.

“I think his work speaks for itself,” said Shildt. “He’s done a nice job. He did a nice job in Washington, a 2-inning save in a close game, one run game against a tough lineup. Last night, went 1-2-3. It’s a tough role for anybody. Carlos gets the opportunity now. There’ll be a day or two he may not be available and somebody else that is available–we have options. Of course, Bud could go back in on a given day or Hudson, Hicks has clearly done and has some saves too. But Carlos is familiar and comfortable with it and he’s got plenty of weapons to do it.”

Bud Norris ranks 5th in the National League with a season-best 28 saves (28/33), but has allowed runs in three straight appearances.

photo credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

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