May 132013
 
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Cardinals pitcher Seth Maness poses for a portrait during St. Louis Cardinals spring training on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla.Photo by Chris Lee, clee@post-dispatch.com

Chris Lee

Cardinals pitcher Seth Maness poses for a portrait during St. Louis Cardinals spring training on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla.Photo by Chris Lee, clee@post-dispatch.com

“It was crazy. It was just crazy.”

Seth Maness

on getting a win at Wrigley Field

By Ronnie Woodward

Monday, May 13, 2013

Seth Maness simply described the moment as special.

Less than two years removed from being drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals out of East Carolina, Maness was on the mound at Wrigley Field last Wednesday afternoon and he pitched 12⁄3 scoreless innings against the Chicago Cubs. The 24-year-old sat in the dugout and watched the Cardinals’ offense rally for single runs in the seventh and eighth innings, resulting in Maness recording the pitching victory in a 5-4 win for his new club.

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“The big at-bats at the plate and getting the runs to put me in line for the win and then everybody coming in an shutting the door, it was crazy,” Maness said. “It was just crazy.”

The victory improved Maness’ record to 2-0. He has yet to yield a run in three appearances, tossing 31⁄3 innings with no strikeouts, no walks and one hit allowed.

The right-hander, who was a starter at ECU and in the minor leagues, was called up to the majors on April 29 and has been a bright spot for a struggling Cardinals’ bullpen.

He made his MLB debut on May 3, pitching a scoreless frame against the Brewers in Milwaukee. He got his first win the following night, throwing two-thirds of an inning in a 7-6 Cards’ victory.

Maness was with the Cardinals in spring training this preseason and he said that experience has helped him because he got familiar with some of the major league players. He pitched against the New York Yankees in a game televised by ESPN during the spring, but he said his MLB outings are incomparable to any other baseball experience.

“Just the amount of fans, how loud it gets and everything is very electric,” said Maness, who wears No. 61. “It’s pretty surreal.”

Maness, who is East Carolina’s all-time leader in wins, strikeouts and innings pitched, said he’s enjoying his current role on a day-by-day basis and hasn’t been told what his long-term plan is for the rest of the season. He said being a reliever in the majors requires an acute mental approach during games, something he is adjusting to after years as a starter.

His rise to St. Louis was sparked by his 2012 campaign. He was the organization’s minor league pitcher of the year after going 14-4 with a 2.97 ERA.

He started this season with Triple-A Memphis, making four starts for the Redbirds. After a doubleheader against the Nashville Sounds in Nashville, Tenn., on April 27, Maness was told by Redbirds manager Ron Warner that he was flying to St. Louis the next morning to join the Cardinals’ bullpen.

Maness, an 11th round draft pick, asked Warner to repeat himself because he was initially startled by the news. Maness said it took some time to fully appreciate the promotion.

“It’s been everything I had dreamed about and more,” he said. “In a week, going from Triple-A to sitting in the bullpen in the major leagues has been pretty special.”

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 or follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.

via The Daily Reflector.

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