The question of the St. Louis Cardinals' closer situation is still open as of Thursday morning, but Mitchell Boggs was the first reliever to get a save opportunity after Ryan Franklin was removed from the job on Tuesday, saving the Cardinals' game-two win over the Washington Nationals with a scoreless inning. Boggs allowed one hit but struck out the first batter he faced, and ended the game with an infield pop-up to pick up the first save of his career.
Boggs began his career as a sinkerball-oriented starter with serious control problems, but since entering the bullpen at the end of the 2009 season he's become one of the Cardinals' top bullpen projects. At his best he features a fastball that sits between 95 and 97 miles per hour and still has great sinking movement; he combines it with a slider, inconsistent but with a lot of break, that hovers around 85.
Of course, it won't be easy for Boggs to hold onto the role—in addition to Franklin, the Cardinals saw excellent outings on Wednesday from young relievers Fernando Salas (three innings, three strikeouts), Eduardo Sanchez (two innings, two strikeouts), and Jason Motte (one inning, one strikeout.) With a runner on and two out Tony La Russa sent veterans Miguel Batista and Trever Miller to warm up, but they weren't needed. Just then.