ST. LOUIS Trevor Rosenthal joined elite company Monday.
Rosenthal nailed down his 47th save in the St. Louis Cardinals’ come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Cincinnati, tying Lee Smith and Jason Isringhausen for the franchise record.
Smith had 47 saves in 1991; Isringhausen, a Brighton native, had 47 in 2004. Rosenthal has 12 remaining games to break the record.
“It’s really special,” Rosenthal said. “Obviously, doing anything like this in an organization I came up in, to make a mark is important to me,” Rosenthal said. “To have my name alongside those guys ... I’m fortunate enough to know Izzy and a lot of other guys on that list.”
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Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was a catcher with the Cardinals for three of Isringhausen’s seven seasons in St. Louis.
“I’m sure I’m going to have a nasty text from Izzy here in a little bit,” Matheny said. “He told me to slow that (Rosenthal) kid down. I think he told me that in July a couple of times.
“But yeah, we hope to give him another (save) opportunity. That’s quite an accomplishment for this organization and some of those names that you’re talking about. I’m very proud of Trevor how he’s just figured out a way. He’s been very good this year.”
Rosenthal, a starter in the minor leagues, recalled being promoted to the Cardinals in July 2012.
“When they first told me I was coming up, I was asking what day I was going to be starting,” Rosethal said. “They told me I was going to be in the bullpen. Everything was kind of new to me at that point. I think they did a good job of transitioning me and helping me along, moving me into bigger situations behind (Mitchell) Boggs and (Edward) Mujica.”
Rosenthal is, by far, enjoying his best season. He has just 23 walks in 66 2/3 innings to go with 81 strikeouts, a 1.49 ERA and one home run allowed.
“I’m still learning,” Rosenthal said. “It’s a learning process. All along, I’ve just approached it the same as I would any other (job). It’s nice to know and have a pretty decent idea of when I’m going to be pitching, but if I was pitching a different inning, I would have the same mentality.”
Last year, Rosenthal had 45 saves, but he had a 3.20 ERA and 42 walks in 70 1/3 innings.
“The biggest adjustment that I had to make from last year was doing a better job of attacking hitters early in the inning and making competitive pitches to the first couple of hitters,” he said. “(Not doing that) got me in trouble last year.”