CINCINNATI -- After waking up with a sore throwing arm, Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal conferenced with manager Mike Matheny and All-Star manager Bruce Bochy on Tuesday and determined it would be best if he did not pitch in the All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile.
"I really wanted to be able to pitch in the game, but I knew going into Sunday's game that if I pitched on Sunday, it would probably be harder to justify pitching today," said Rosenthal, a first-time All-Star who threw 29 pitches in a blown save on Sunday. "I'm trying, first and foremost to help out our team in St. Louis."
While the Cardinals have been more cognizant of monitoring Rosenthal's workload in his second season as closer, he was used heavily as the Cardinals finished the first half with a series of tight games. He pitched in four of the team's last five games and threw 89 pitches over that five-day period.
The first two of those outings went smoothly as Rosenthal lowered his season ERA to 0.67 through 39 appearances. Fatigue set in over the weekend, however, and the Pirates, en route to consecutive extra-inning wins, knocked Rosenthal around. In his final two innings of the first half, Rosenthal gave up seven hits and more earned runs (four) than he had through the season's first three months.
"This last week was different," Rosenthal said. It's different when you get into games like we did with the Pirates. You lose a close one and then you're kind of on the fence about [pitching the next day], but you want to be out there for your team. … I knew on Saturday when I was pitching that I was a little tired. I could feel it. And so, obviously Sunday is going to be the same."
Rosenthal threw on flat ground during Monday's workout and said he felt fine. It was how his arm was responding the day after, though, that gave him reason to pause. Though the Cardinals never asked Rosenthal not to pitch in the All-Star Game, they were supportive of his decision to use the time off to get some needed rest.
"He didn't want to take anything away from me," Rosenthal said of Matheny. "I talked to him on Sunday. He left the decision up to me. Like I said, just based on how I felt [on Tuesday], I think it would be best to rest."
Rosenthal described the soreness as "normal fatigue" and expects to be fine by Friday, when the Cardinals open the second half with a series against the Mets. He said he planned to do some light flat-ground throwing on Tuesday and then not pick up a ball again until Friday.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.