Of the 100 innings thrown by Cardinals this postseason, 69 of them have been by players age 26 or younger, including 22 of the 30 innings thrown by relievers. Of those 30 innings, St. Louis has allowed just six runs for a 1.80 ERA. Opponents are batting .177 against the Cardinals pen.
The postseason seen Mike Matheny putting a lot of faith into pitchers who hadn’t been in the roles they’re currently in all season:
• Trevor Rosenthal was the primary set-up man all season long and was one of the most effective relievers in baseball. He only became the closer when Edward Mujica faltered in late summer. In the regular season, Rosenthal had 108 strikeouts, third-most among all relief pitchers behind Aroldis Chapman (112) and Kenley Jansen (111). He leads the Cardinals with 7 innings pitched out of the pen in the postseason.
• Carlos Martinez has been thrust into the setup role after he bounced between the majors and minors throughout the year while the Cardinals tried to figure out if he would be best used as a starter or reliever. After Joe Kelly emerged in the rotation, the Cardinals decided Martinez would be a reliever. Opponents have batted .105 against him this postseason in 6 2/3 innings pitched. He’s averaged 94.9 miles per hour with his fastball and touched as high as 101 mph. Like Rosenthal, Martinez has pitched 6 2/3 innings out of the pen this postseason (he’s given up two runs). No other pitcher has thrown more than 4 innings for the Cardinals out of the bullpen.