Cardinals reliever Carlos Villanueva pitched three perfect innings to earn his second save of the season, Friday against Milwaukee. Villanueva's last save, also a three-inning save, was on June 27. He's been perfect in his last two outings, spanning four innings, and hasn't allowed a run in his last four games, over seven innings.
Carlos Villanueva really knows how to rub it in. Not only has he performed far better this season for the Cardinals than he ever did for the Cubs, but he shut down the Windy City boys on Saturday. Villanueva earned the save with three shutout innings in which he allowed just one hit. He walked two and fanned three along the way to preserve the 8-1 victory and lower his ERA to 1.17, more than three points lower than what he achieved mostly out of the bullpen for the Cubs. He allowed one baserunner in each inning, but escaped unscathed and allowed closer Trevor Rosenthal to rest.
Cardinals pitcher Carlos Villanueva was a savior for manager Mike Matheny on Saturday against the Tigers. After starter Tyler Lyons was lifted with two outs in the fourth inning, Villanueva did all he could to keep his team in the game. He pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing four hits and one walk. He also struck out a pair. "Somebody is going to have to pay, and it's the rest of our bullpen that is paying when we can't get our starters very deep in the game," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said to MLB.com. "It's got to change. We have to figure out how to get it done." The right-hander has thrived in his role as a swingman/long reliever this season. He currently boasts a 0.50 ERA over 10 appearences. It remains to be seen if Villanueva will be moved into the rotation at some point this season.
Cardinals reliever Carlos Villanueva moved to 3-1 on the season, coming out of the bullpen to earn the victory in an 11-inning win over Pittsburgh. Villanueva pitched a scoreless eleventh, allowing a hit and a walk, while striking out one. He lowered his ERA to 0.87 with the 18 pitch, 10 strike outing. "It's good to come out on the positive side," Villanueva said. "What we have to do is try to keep the game as it is when we come in, and we did a good job of that. I know we had a lot of traffic out there, but what matter is that that traffic doesn't advance. Keep bringing the boys back in the dugout and give them a chance to do what they did again today."
Cardinals pitcher Carlos Villanueva is filling a long-relief role for the team this season, causing him to be used infrequently, but he doesn't see an issue with the role and says he's been "staying ready" between appearances, MLB.com reports. "I've done it before and that's what I'm here for," Villanueva said of the infrequent use. "I don't see it as being a factor. I've stayed ready in between. I've thrown my sides. It's something that I have to deal with and keep myself ready for situations like [Tuesday]." Villanueva made his second appearance of the season Tuesday, giving up a walkoff home run to take the loss. He figures to see more action as the team gets involved in more blowouts, as the Cardinals have seen just two of their games decided by more than three runs. "Games look a little different, he's going to get opportunities to pitch," manager Mike Matheny said. "It just hasn't worked out that way. I know he's not looking for excuses. He wants to throw. I get it. But he serves a very important purpose for us down there so we can pitch the guys [in the bullpen] like we're pitching them. He's the safety valve on the back end."