Originally written on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 10/24/14
St. Louis Edward Mujica says it happened in Philadelphia on April 18. There the Cardinals reliever who had usually stuck to the seventh inning was, out on the mound in the ninth. Things weren't going very well. First, Phillies' outfielder Ben Revere had singled to center. Then, catcher Erik Kratz had singled to right. Runners stood on first and third with no outs, jeopardizing the Cards' 4-3 lead. It was at this point the right-hander says he had a conversation with himself, a moment of reflection he has continued to come back to this season when he lands in a tough spot. "Now, I'm going to put my mind the right way," Mujica recalled Wednesday. "And you guys see it." The pep talk appears to have worked. Mujica escaped the jam in Philadelphia by sandwiching a strikeout of Jimmy Rollins between two groundouts. It was his first save of the season, and he's cruised as a closer ever since. In doing so, he's brought stability to a key role in the Cardinals bullpen, a closer spot that's struggled due to Jason Motte's lingering injury and Mitchell Boggs' rocky start. Mujica is the man for now, and he's not offering any reasons to think differently. "Edward has been very good for us," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Wednesday. "Hopefully he stays with it." Cincinnati saw it firsthand. Mujica slammed the door on back-to-back Cardinals wins to help St. Louis end its three-game series against the Reds on a high note. On Tuesday, Mujica struck out the side in the ninth, sending three of the Reds' best hitters (Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce) back to the dugout empty-handed. Then, on Wednesday, he buckled down in the face of adversity, just like he did in Philadelphia. The leadoff batter in the ninth, Reds' second baseman Phillips, capitalized on a first-pitch fastball that got higher than Mujica hoped. Phillips' one-run shot whittled the Cardinals' lead to 4-2. The next batter, Bruce, reached on a fielding error by Cardinals second baseman Daniel Descalso. Mujica stepped from the mound, pounded a fist into his glove and gathered himself. "After that, I just cooled my mind," he would say later. "OK. Let's go. Let's do it." A change up got Todd Frazier to ground into a double play that cleared the bases. Mujica then coaxed Donald Lutz into a game-ending groundout for his sixth save of the season. Wearing a broad smile in the Cardinals clubhouse after the game, he reminded everyone that those six saves are two more than he had in his previous four seasons combined. "I like it, man," he said. "I like it. It's hard, but Matheny gave me the confidence, gave me the ball in the ninth. I'm just going out there and trying to make it happen." So far so good. Follow Ben Frederickson on Twitter (@Ben_Fred) and contact him at frederickson.ben@gmail.com
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Memorabilia dealer at center of Todd Gurley scandal fired

Colt McCoy on learning he was starting ‘it’s about f—ing time’

Four Questions for Game 3 of the World Series

Percy Harvin not planning on changing

Ricky Williams: People are let down when I turn down weed

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Randall Cobb: Contract situation played role in slow start

Notre Dame WR faces discipline if he hooked up with porn star?

PGA president calls Ian Poulter ‘lil girl’ for Nick Faldo comments

Belichick declines to address Revis' reported tardiness

Texas mayor delays Halloween for Friday night football game

C-USA hired PR firm to help Marshall’s playoff chances

Big trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks, possibly more

Blazers, Seahawks owner Paul Allen gives $100M to fight ebola

'FIFA 15' glitch turns goalie into headless giant with no arms

WATCH: HBO releases trailer of 'The Offseason: Kevin Durant'

Broncos corner snags INT, then takes pregnant wife to hospital

Gurley dressed up as a pirate for Halloween, yelled, 'Free me'

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Nick Saban pens touching letter after high school coach dies

NBA Replay Center readies for its debut on Opening Night

WATCH: Former NBAer delivers vicious flying elbow Down Under

RNS looking to add agents with existing client rosters

Would World Series win make the Giants a dynasty?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.