BALTIMORE -- Manager Mike Matheny is admittedly a perpetual optimist, so it's no surprise that he took a moment to highlight what he saw as a few positive developments amid an otherwise ugly 12-2 loss to the Orioles on Friday.
The Cardinals' timing in summoning Nick Greenwood from Triple-A couldn't have been better, as the club immediately leaned on him for three innings of relief. Matheny suggested afterward that Greenwood's ability to get the game through the fifth likely prevents the team from having to make another roster move before Saturday's game.
Trevor Rosenthal, Pat Neshek and Kevin Siegrist all had the night off, making each available for the second game of the series. Randy Choate and Seth Maness made quick work of their respective innings, so they, too, should be fresh. Even if Greenwood and Sam Freeman (who threw 30 pitches in a laborious sixth inning) are unavailable on Saturday, Matheny could likely make work with a bullpen of five.
Matheny is also hopeful that there will be benefit from his being able to get several starters out of the blowout midgame. Jhonny Peralta, Matt Carpenter and Matt Adams all exited after five innings. Rest was needed by all three. Carpenter had started 42 straight games and all but two this season. Peralta and Adams had started 25 and 26 in a row, respectively.
"It's not a real good list of accomplishments, but still, I think we'll make the most of it," Matheny said. "Maybe the little bit of time for those guys to get off a half a game pays off."
The other side of that, of course, is that Matheny was also able to get his bench involved. He used all 13 position players and found multiple innings in the field for Daniel Descalso, Mark Ellis, Tony Cruz and Shane Robinson.
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.