How's this for a day designed to belittle the Cardinals' newly urgent closer-of-the-future search: Nearly every pitcher connected to it had an excellent night in relief of two inefficient starters, but only Mitchell Boggs (1 IP, 1 K) got significant forward momentum out of the deal. Fernando Salas (3 IP, 3K), Eduardo Sanchez (2 IP, 2K), and Jason Motte (2 IP, 2 K) all looked at their stereotypical best, with Salas flashing a nice changeup and good control, Sanchez turning the gamethread weak at the collective knees, and Motte throwing 96 MPH fastballs over and over in different places, but Boggs, who was also fine, got his first save of the career.
I'm not sure it matters who the Cardinals' closer is if they can rely on pitchers like Salas, Sanchez, Motte, and Boggs after the sixth inning. I'm certainly fine with Boggs as the official closer, especially with the early improvement in his strikeout rate, but I'd be equally fine with any of the other three. Meanwhile, Franklin can work out his home run-related problems and apparent frustration (hat tip to The Continental and YesWeOquendo) in low-leverage innings, which Jake Westbrook seems increasingly determined to create.
Meanwhile, Nick Punto appears to be exactly who we thought he was. Daniel Descalso's surprising defensive aptitude at third and second and Ryan Theriot's complete adequacy at shortstop make him a little less essential than he appeared to be in March, but spotted in the right places on defense and replaced in the right places on offense he should be a useful bench piece (and an incredibly frustrating pinch-hitter at least five times, I'd wager.)