Manager Mike Matheny admitted to being "a little thin" in the bullpen on Saturday night after calling on his relievers to log 6 1/3 innings in Friday's extra-inning loss. The Cardinals opted not to make a roster move and call up an additional pitcher for Saturday night's game, though Matheny has targeted some relievers that he would like not to have to use unless absolutely necessary.
After surrendering one earned run on four hits and one walk in 10 1/3 innings in April, Mitchell Boggs has labored through much of May. In five outings (3 2/3 innings) this month, Boggs has given up three earned runs, nine hits and four walks.
Matheny speculated that some of Boggs' recent struggles have been the result of letting up while pitching in games that the Cardinals led comfortably. That was not the case, though, on Friday, when Boggs allowed the Braves to score a go-ahead eighth-inning run while walking two and allowing two hits.
"I think it's a matter of getting some good confidence and getting the feel again back there," Matheny said. "His stuff looks good, so he's going to be fine."
In an effort to speed up games, Major League Baseball is considering a rule change to the third-and-first pickoff move. As the rule states, pitchers can keep their foot on the pitching rubber and fake a throw to third if there are runners on the corners. If the rule is changed, that move would become a balk, unless the pitcher removed his foot from the rubber before making a move.
Unaware of the potential rule change before Saturday, Matheny wasn't excited to hear about the possible elimination of a play that he had his team work on throughout Spring Training.
"It's a valuable tool for us," Matheny said. "The problem is getting the [pitcher] out there to put some effort into it. If the guys put some effort into it, there could be some edge that could be there."
Asked about his decision to start Tyler Greene at second base against a right-handed starter on Saturday, Matheny said it was "a gut feeling more than anything else." He also noted that it was playing time earned by Greene's performance on the team's recent road trip. Greene went 4-for-14 on that road trip. He was hitless in four at-bats on Friday.
Drew Benes, son of former Cardinals pitcher Andy Benes, struck out a career-best 12 in a 7-2 win for high Class A Palm Beach on Friday. Benes, who has 35 strikeouts this season, allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings.