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Matheny shows faith in closer Rosenthal

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Matheny shows faith in closer Rosenthal

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny had no interest in entertaining the idea of using Trevor Rosenthal in any other role but to finish games.

After two straight days of difficult ninth innings -- the second of which ended in Rosenthal's fourth blown save this season -- Matheny noted that two days do not warrant such discussion.

"Trevor has done a terrific job," Matheny said. "You look up on that saves leaders [board] -- there's a couple losses and some outings that hurt his ERA -- when it comes down to closing the door and getting saves, he's a guy that's doing a great job."

Rosenthal, with 26 saves, ranks tied for second among National League closers. Before allowing four runs in 1 1/3 innings over the last two games, Rosenthal hadn't allowed a run in 12 straight outings.

The right-hander entered Friday's game with a three-run lead, and he left the bases loaded with a game-ending double play after allowing two runs to score. On Saturday, Rosenthal surrendered the game-tying run in the ninth and the game-winning run was charged to him after his exit, inflating his ERA to 3.76.

Rosenthal was expected to be unavailable out of the bullpen Sunday after throwing a combined 54 pitches in two days. He most certainly is still the Cardinals' top option to finish games.

"We want our closer to feel like he's the king of the world when he walks out on that field," Matheny said. "[Friday], I didn't even want someone up in the 'pen. I went out there and I told him, 'You're our guy, you've got to figure out how to get this done.' He sees me getting two guys loose down there, he's going to doubt whether I'm telling him the truth.

"I believe there's a psychological advantage when a guy knows, 'I'm the guy.' That's a great spot to be in."

Alex Halsted 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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