WASHINGTON -- With Lance Lynn unavailable on Wednesday, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny turned to rookies Trevor Rosenthal and Joe Kelly as expected.
Lynn threw 50 pitches in Game 2 of the National League Division Series on Monday in St. Louis, and the 18-game winner is a likely candidate to step in for the injured Jaime Garcia should the Cards advance to the NL Championship Series. Matheny also said Lynn could pitch in Game 4 on Thursday or a potential Game 5 on Friday.
In the meantime, Matheny relied on Kelly and Rosenthal -- part of a formidable trio of rookie bullpen arms that also includes Shelby Miller -- to work the late innings of Wednesday's 8-0 blowout.
"Anytime you get out here in this situation, especially in postseason games, there are some nerves going," Rosenthal said. "You're excited to be there, first of all, and want to come through and help the team win."
Rosenthal threw 1 1/3 innings, striking out one. Kelly pitched the ninth, walking a batter and also recording a strikeout.
"It just keeps building my confidence," Rosenthal said. "I've been very fortunate to have success so far, and hopefully I'll just keep building off of that. It's exciting that they are letting me go out there and that they think I'm capable of doing the job. I want to go out there and try to prove them right every time."
After Garcia was shut down Tuesday with a rotator cuff strain and inflammation, it became likely that Lynn would take his place in the rotation. But if Lynn is needed in this series, he'd then be unlikely to start Game 1 of the NLCS if St. Louis advanced.
"I wouldn't rule him out for [Thursday] and I wouldn't rule him out any further past that," Matheny said of Lynn. "But right now, after throwing 50 pitches and throwing the day before, we are going to have to be careful with him."