ST. LOUIS -- Maybe it was fitting that before his first multiple-inning outing of this postseason, Trevor Rosenthal was spotted chatting during batting practice with a Cardinals pitcher who worked many, many innings in the postseason.
Hall of Famer Bob Gibson, who completed eight of his nine career playoff starts for St. Louis, was on hand for Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, a 3-2 Cards win over the Dodgers that stretched 13 innings, including Rosenthal's two scoreless frames.
When 23-year-old Rosenthal took a spot next to 77-year-old Gibson on the bench, the two talked, of course, about pitching.
"I got into a conversation about throwing fastballs away, mainly against right-handed batters," Rosenthal said. "Just little tidbits of information, that he had on some things that he used to do when he was playing. So it was really cool to get his perspective. It had been something that had been on my mind, so in that situation, I just wanted to be sure to get his thoughts."
Rosenthal, who has risen from a 21st-round Draft pick out of junior college in 2009 to Cardinals closer in '13, will revisit Gibson's tips next spring.
"When a guy like that says it, it maybe has a bigger impact, and you focus on it a little bit more," Rosenthal said.
Rosenthal threw 33 pitches in Game 1, the last a 98-mph fastball to Michael Young with one out and runners at the corners that produced the game's signature play. Young lifted a fly ball to right fielder Carlos Beltran, whose strong throw home was held by catcher Yadier Molina after a collision with Mark Ellis.
The 33 pitches were Rosenthal's most in an outing since he threw 40 in a Sept. 16 win over the Dodgers at Busch Stadium. He indicated he was available for Game 2 on Saturday afternoon.
"Right now, I think with the postseason and bouncing back with the adrenaline and how bad you want to be out there contributing, it helps a lot," Rosenthal said. "Especially with the travel days and the rest, that helps a lot, too.
"But I think I feel good right now. I know talking to a lot of the other guys in the bullpen, that they all feel really well, too. They seem to be bouncing back quicker than usual."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.