St. Louis Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal shut down the Chicago Cubs on Sunday to earn his 32nd save of the season–currently best in the National League. By the time the season is done, Rosenthal may also have the best save total in franchise history.
“Just attribute the guys in front of me and the team we have–getting the opportunities,” recently downplayed Rosenthal, who has converted 32 of 36 save opportunities this season.
Jason Isringhausen (2004) and Lee Smith (1991) share the mark with 47 saves each. However, Rosenthal is a couple of weeks ahead of pace of both of those former closers as Izzy didn’t record his 31st save until August 13th and Smith saved his on August 16th.
Jason Motte had 42 saves in 2012 for the Cardinals and didn’t record his 31st save until September 1st.
Earlier in the season he struggled to find the groove which saw him hit 100mph on the radar in the past, but Rosenthal has been more consistent of late with his velocity being near triple digits.
“It’s continuing to be a learning process knowing your body,” said Rosenthal of his first half of a season as closer. He has appeared in 47 games as of July 27th each of the last two seasons–but this year has thrown 1.1 fewer innings (47.2). “You just try to take care of yourself as much as you can and go out there with what you’ve got.”
Isringhausen, Motte, Smith (3x), and Bruce Sutter are the only four pitchers in franchise history with at least 40 saves in a season.
MOTTE FINALIST FOR BRANCH RICKEY AWARD
–St. Louis Cardinals reliever Jason Motte has been named as a finalist for the 2o14 Branch Rickey Award, which was created by the Rotary Club of Denver and recognizes professionals who have displayed exceptional community service. Criteria for the award is:
- An outstanding individual currently involved in Major League Baseball — a player, owner, manager, front office staff, scout, etc.
- A role model for young people as evidenced by baseball accomplishments coupled with high ethical standards.
- An unselfish contributor to the community whose volunteer activities exemplify Rotary International’s motto, “Service Above Self.”
Besides establishing the Jason Motte Foundation in 2012 to help in the fight against cancer and his well-publicized “K Cancer” t-shirt campaign with representatives from every Major League team, Motte has also been involved with West Clinic, Wings Cancer Foundation, Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Mercy Hospital, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and Rainbows for Kids.
The Jason Motte Foundation is also hosting a Cornhole Challenge on August 17th in Forest Park.
A National Selection Committee, comprised of members of the sports media, past Branch Rickey Award winners and Rotary District Governors in Major League cities vote on the nominees to choose the winner each year. This year, fans will also have the opportunity to help decide the winner by casting votes on Facebook–click here to vote.
As of Sunday evening, Motte was in fourth place in the fan balloting–trailing Anthony Rizzo, David Wright, and Joey Votto.
photo credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports