Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 4/8/13
ST. LOUIS When Mike Matheny pulled Jaime Garcia, the Cardinals manager knew the starting pitcher had done enough to earn a win. "He did a nice job taking us deep," Matheny said. "That's where we wanted to be." Garcia had gone 6 23 innings. He had notched a career-high 10 strikeouts, and surrendered just three runs. The Cardinals led by one, and the team's Opening Day a celebration that featured Hall of Fame appearances, three bald eagles and a moving tribute to the late Stan Musial seemed to be on track toward a merry conclusion. "I felt good out there," Garcia said. "It was a chance to win a ballgame. But unfortunately, we didn't win." Wait. What? Yes, the Cardinals lost their home opener to Cincinnati 13-4 on Monday. And the result was a Cardinals' bullpen, led a vocal Mitchell Boggs, that shouldered the blame. "Those guys, I know they can pitch better than they did," Matheny said. Boggs, who walked four batters and surrendered seven runs, was more critical. "This was the worst outing of my career," he said of the appearance that lasted just one third of an inning. "I don't think you can put it any other way. It wasn't good today. There's no other way to say it, no excuse. I didn't execute. I walked four guys in a tie ballgame in the ninth inning. That pretty much says it all." Before Boggs, the Reds made it a 4-4 tie against Rosenthal, who replaced Garcia. Rosenthal surrendered a one-out single, then hit a batter before pinch-hitter Xavier Paul earned an RBI. "I just need to be a little bit sharper," he said. After Boggs, the Reds scored their final two runs off Mark Rzepczynski. Following the meltdown, bullpen members passed on a chance to include the injury of one of a teammate as a cause for its trouble. Closer Jason Motte's lingering elbow problems have caused both Rosenthal and Boggs to adjust to new roles. Rosensal said his mentality doesn't change upon when he enters a game. Boggs said that, then more. "Whenever you lose a guy like that Motte, it's tough on everybody," Boggs said. "But, at the same time, we're professionals. And we have a job to do. This team has shown time and time again that, when it loses big pieces, people are going to show up. I think our bullpen is going to do that." The next chance comes tomorrow. Boggs said he'll be ready. "I'm not going to hide from this," he said. "There are no excuses. I was bad today. But I expect to be a part of a lot of good ones."
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