"We need the arm," Matheny said. "With [Trevor] Rosenthal and Pat [Neshek] both being used heavily, we have to make sure we're covered with arms. Nick Greenwood has done a terrific job with whatever we've asked him to do. Having that long guy does give us the ability to use these guys in different roles."
That was what Matheny had to say before the Cardinals' 12-2 loss to Baltimore, and he looked like a soothsayer later after watching his bullpen have to cover six innings. Greenwood, in his second stint with the big league team this season, handled three of those.
He did allow four runs on four hits, but Greenwood saved the rest of the 'pen from being too overworked.
"Huge," Matheny said of the outing. "It's a shame [the final line doesn't look good] because he made some good pitches. He hung a couple that ended up costing him. This kid comes out and gets some big outs for us."
During his previous call-up, Greenwood pitched at least two innings in six of his nine appearances. Upon returning, he was immediately designated as the team's long reliever after staying stretched out over the past few weeks in Memphis.
"I was just doing what I had been doing, throwing strikes, getting outs," Greenwood said of his time away. "The main thing they wanted was to make sure I was still stretched out in case something happened."
The Cardinals were able to get creative with his pitching schedule because he arrived during a stretch in which Triple-A Memphis was playing 15 games in 12 days. Greenwood started two doubleheader games (lasting three innings in each) and then pitched in relief three times. He threw 16 pitches in an appearance for Memphis on Thursday, before throwing 47 on Friday.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.