ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals had a rested relief corps entering Game 5 of the National League Championship Series with a chance to close out the Giants, thanks to Adam Wainwright's marvelous seven-inning start and an offensive breakout in an 8-3 Game 4 victory.
That combination allowed Cardinals manager Mike Matheny to stay away from his late-inning triumvirate of Edward Mujica, Mitchell Boggs and Jason Motte, each of whom had pitched in Game 3, including Motte for a two-inning save.
"It's good to get a day off," Motte said, "but at this point of the season, everyone is ready to go. It's pretty much all hands on deck. So if the phone would have rang, we would have gone out there and done everything we could."
Motte said he would have been available in Game 4 after logging the first two-inning save of his career the night before. He was particularly efficient, throwing only 19 pitches.
Motte pitched in five of the Cardinals' first 10 games this postseason, Mujica in six and Boggs in seven. Boggs was the staff's workhorse, tying for third in the NL with 78 appearances in the regular season.
At this point in the season, are arms naturally dragging?
"Yeah and no," Motte said. "It is October, but we do our arm stuff and our shoulder exercises. We do what we need to do to keep our arms in shape. There may be some fatigue, but you do what you need to do to get out there, and when you do get out there, you're not thinking about that. You need to be thinking about executing pitches."