"He just made the best move in the clubhouse I have ever seen in all my years managing," said manager Tony La Russa. "He was waiting to get showered, and they were all grouped around, and he came in the back door.
"The greatest move I've ever seen. It was brilliant. He outsmarted the whole team."
He was eventually, um, honored, but not before having a little fun with his teammates. And more than a dozen cold cans still sat on a clubhouse table afterward, suggesting that perhaps Isringhausen didn't get the full force.
"He said, 'Who are you guys all waiting for?'" explained Carpenter. "Everybody was waiting. We had towels out on the ground."
Which is not to say he doesn't appreciate his place in the franchise's history.
Cardinals career saves leaders
"To be mentioned with Lee Smith, Bruce Sutter, Todd Worrell, that's pretty special," he said. "It's pretty special company. It's pretty special to be with the team I grew up with, grew up watching, grew up idolizing everybody."
It was a mostly good news, and a little bad news night for Isringhausen. He did surrender a run, but some indifferent defense behind him might well have cost him. He struck out two and didn't issue a walk, giving him three straight games without a free pass for the first time all year.
"I'm going to work to contact," he said. "I'm going to get strike one, no matter what I have to do. I'm just really conscious of throwing strikes. It's still hard to hit a baseball, as we all know. So strike one is the most important pitch for me. Once I get strike one, it opens up everything."
It's been a rocky year at times for Isringhausen, but through the struggles he leads the National League in saves. Tuesday marked his third quality outing in a row. It appears that the three-day mental health break he received did him a world of good.
He's back to being a three-pitch closer, firing hard four-seam fastballs and curveballs to go with his trademark cutter. The fastball in particular has been critical.
When he uses his fastball enough, his velocity is good enough that it really sends a message to the hitter that they can't sit up there and sit on his cutter," said pitching coach Dave Duncan.