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Mujica trying to put struggles behind him

Mujica trying to put struggles behind him

Mujica trying to put struggles behind him play video for Mujica trying to put struggles behind him

ST. LOUIS -- Edward Mujica, believing that his September struggles have been mostly mental, hopes that playing a mental game can help him emerge from his funk.

"September has been a bad month for me," Mujica said on Sunday. "But the playoffs start in October, and I'll be ready because it's a new month."

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First, the Cardinals have to decide whether to place Mujica on the postseason roster. General manager John Mozeliak said on Saturday that he did expect Mujica to play a role out of the bullpen in October. However, that was before Mujica allowed three of the four ninth-inning batters he faced to record a hit -- one home run and two doubles -- in the Cards' 6-2 win over the Cubs.

Mujica entered September with a 1.73 ERA in 55 appearances. He seemed firmly entrenched as the team's closer and was poised to make a run at a 40-save season. It has since turned out to be one of the worst months of his career. Mujica has given up 18 hits and nine earned runs in 7 1/3 innings. Opponents are batting .514 against the right-hander, who is now no longer being considered for late-inning, high-leverage situations.

"Sometimes people are more concerned about the last month, because it's the month to get ready for the postseason," Mujica said. "But I feel pretty good. I have to go out there and keep battling. Everything is good throughout my body. The thing sometimes, though, is that this job is like a roller coaster. You have good months. You have bad months. My bad month is September."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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