Cardinals career saves leader Jason Isringhausen, who has been hired back as a special minor-league pitching assistant, didn’t see what happened Tuesday night to Alex Reyes, who lost a 6-1 lead in the ninth inning for the first blown save of his career after converting 24 in succession, 22 of them this season.
But Isringhausen, in Louisville, Kentucky, with the Class AAA Memphis team, wasn’t too concerned.
“I’d say one out of 25 isn’t too bad,” he said. “Doing the job he’s doing right now, it’s how he deals with the failures that makes him that much better than (being) an All-Star. I’m not worried about Alex. He’s got a good head on his shoulders.
“As long as he’s healthy, Alex is going to be fine. You do it long enough, you’re going to blow saves. The good thing about closing is you get to do it the next day. You get back on that horse and it all goes away.”
When 'Izzy' had the ninth inning Tuesday described to him on the telephone, he said, “Those are the ones that sting a little bit. You learn from your mistakes. I’m sure he’s second-guessing himself today on certain pitches but we all know how good Alex is.”
Save No. 24 on Sunday enabled Reyes to break Isringhausen’s team record for consecutive saves.
Before Isringhausen came here to record 217 saves, he had been the closer for the Oakland Athletics. He didn’t recall losing a five-run lead, but he did recall blowing a save on two pitches — back-to-back homers by New York’s Bernie Williams and David Justice in Yankee Stadium.
“I remember reporters asked me about it,” Isringhausen said. “I said, ‘I think I’ll be rested for tomorrow because I only threw two pitches.'"
Reyes, who threw 30 pitches on Tuesday, wasn’t likely to pitch on Wednesday but it had nothing to do with his outing of the night before.
“Some days, the human element comes into play,” manager Mike Shildt said. “You have moments that don’t work out.
“You go through three years of rehab and some of the trials and tribulations he’s had, I’m more than confident that Alex Reyes will be ready to bounce back.”
Shildt would do it again
The Cardinals suffered perhaps their most difficult loss of the season on Tuesday. It was the first time they had lost a game they led after eight innings. They had been 38-0.
“It wasn’t a good time to have a bad half-inning,” Shildt said. "Does it sting? I’m not going to say it doesn’t sting. It hurt.
“That was one of the harder ones I’ve ever been a part of, candidly. But that’s the thing about the game. You get a chance to show up today and compete. Whatever happens today won’t be because of the aftereffects of last night.”
But, in the cold light of day, would he change any decision?
“I felt good about every single possibility that was taking place,” said Shildt, who said the only move that he might have done differently was his insertion of righthanded-hitting infielder Edmundo Sosa in a double switch. Seeing lefthander Andrew Chafin warming up for the Cubs, Shildt wanted Sosa leading off the ninth against Chafin if the game went that far but the Cubs, after going ahead 7-6, quickly warmed up closer Craig Kimbrel. Then Shildt pinch-hit lefthanded-batting Matt Carpenter for Sosa.
“I never saw Kimbrel get loose,” Shildt said.
“You would have thought he would have been up a little quicker. I didn’t know if he had been traded, or what?” Shildt said, jokingly.
But, “not at all,” did he regret his starting Luis Garcia in the ninth and then going to Reyes and, finally, Giovanny Gallegos.
“That didn’t cause me any lack of sleep at all,” Shildt said. “The fact of the matter is, Garcia gets a strikeout (with a wild pitch) and a ground ball (for an error) and then he walked a guy so we go to Alex with plenty of buffer.
“I absolutely replayed it. You can shape it any way you want. When it works out, it’s great and everybody goes home and feels good about it. And when it doesn’t work out, people are going to question the question. That’s their prerogative.
“There was more frustration about how it ended as opposed to, ‘Oh, my gosh, we missed something.'"
Mikolas set for Memphis
Righthander Miles Mikolas, on the injured list with a forearm problem, will start for Memphis at Louisville on Saturday night. Righthander Daniel Ponce de Leon (shoulder discomfort), who will be brought back as a reliever, is slated to pitch an inning for Memphis at Louisville on Thursday night.
Shildt said righthander Jack Flaherty (oblique tear) is likely to have one more bullpen session before he faces hitters here, or on a rehab option.
Brock, Gibson remembered
National Baseball Hall of Famers Lou Brock and Bob Gibson, both of whom died late last season, will be honored during Cardinals Hall of Fame weekend Aug. 20-22, with families of both to participate in pregame ceremonies and throw out ceremonial first pitches.
• Starter Johan Oviedo, who allowed just one run in five innings, had a thumbnail issue on Tuesday, which he told the staff about after the fifth inning. He faced only one batter in the sixth but Shildt said he did not believe the injury to be serious and the Cuban righthander is likely to take his turn Sunday in Cincinnati.
• Righthander Roel Ramirez, who had been at Memphis, was claimed off waivers by the New York Mets. Ramirez had an earned run average of 81.00 for his two innings of work for the Cardinals in the past two seasons.
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