Motte fourth Cardinals closer with 40 saves

Motte fourth Cardinals closer with 40 saves

Motte fourth Cardinals closer with 40 saves
CHICAGO -- Calling it simply a "cool" achievement, Jason Motte, caught up much more in the team's collective push to a Wild Card spot, placed only minimal significance on the personal milestone he hit along the way.

Motte worked around a leadoff single to close out the Cardinals' 6-3 victory over the Cubs on Sunday. It marked Motte's sixth save in the club's last seven games, and it pushed the second-year closer to a season total of 40, the oft-recited benchmark for a special season.

"It's one of those things, the season is not over yet," Motte said. "We have nine more games. Once the season is over, maybe I'll look back at something like that. But we have nine more games in the season, so for me, that's what I look at. For these next nine games, 40 is kind of irrelevant."

Perhaps there's no time for immediate reflection. But Motte has nevertheless joined select company in the achievement. There have been only five previous 40-save seasons in St. Louis history. Those were reached by only three different pitchers -- Jason Isringhausen (2004), Lee Smith (1991, '92, '93) and Bruce Sutter (1984).

Motte will forever be etched as No. 4.

"To be in company with those guys is pretty good," Motte said. "Those guys had great careers."

Motte sealed the save with a strikeout of infielder Luis Valbuena, and that ball was kept in safekeeping. It will substantially grow Motte's collection of baseballs, too. He said he has the ball he threw to close out Game 6 of the National League Championship Series in 2011, as well as the one that notched his first career strikeout.