Jake Westbrook, the controversial
pickup by the Cardinals from Cleveland in July when popular outfielder Ryan Ludwick was
sent to San Diego, gave the Busch Stadium fans
something to remember him by Friday night if this was his last game in a
Westbrook, a pending free
agent, threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings in a 3-0 Cardinals victory over Colorado. In his final
two home starts of the season, Westbrook didn't allow a run and gave up just 10
hits over 15 2/3 innings. He fanned a career-high-tying nine.
"He made so many movement
pitches, both sides of the plate," said manager Tony La Russa. "What a
La Russa was on board
with general manager John Mozeliak's trade of Ludwick for Westbrook, and he
stood by it again Friday.
"In my opinion, Mo
couldn't have made a better trade," said La Russa. "I don't know who he could
have traded for who would have pitched better than this man has pitched for us."
Westbrook, in 12
Cardinals starts, worked six innings or more 10 times and allowed three earned
runs or fewer nine times. In his last two starts at home, he pitched 15 2/3
scoreless innings, allowing just 10 hits.
"Game after game after
game, he's given us an outstanding chance to win," said La Russa. "We just
haven't supported him in some of them.
"He did his part
consistently. It was an outstanding trade for us."
And, admittedly not a
good hitter, Westbrook knocked one of the three Cardinals' runs with a
CARDINALS 3, ROCKIES
0: While the
Rockies, also out of contention for the playoffs, limp to the finish line with
11 losses in 12 games, the Cardinals have won seven of their last nine games.
Reliever Trever Miller bailed RHP Jake Westbrook out of a bases-loaded spot in
the eighth by retiring Colorado LF Carlos Gonzalez on a tapper to the mound with
the bases loaded.
Rookie C Matt Pagnozzi,
who has driven in eight runs in his last six games, squeezed home one of the
Cardinals' three runs. Earlier in the week, he had hit his first big-league
homer, but he said he valued more the squeeze bunt called by manager Tony La
Russa. "There's more risk involved," he said. "They're expecting me to get the
bunt down. They're not expecting me to hit a home run." It was the first
successful suicide squeeze for an RBI by the Cardinals since April 2008.
RHP Jake Westbrook,
Friday's winner, and the Cardinals have expressed mutual interest in Westbrook,
a free agent, coming back next year. But he will command a multi-year contract.
Can the Cardinals afford him and still upgrade their offense?
RHP Chris Carpenter, the
Cy Young Award winner in 2005, said this year's race will be interesting but he
sees only two competitors—his former Toronto teammate Roy Halladay, now with
Philadelphia, and Cardinals teammate Adam Wainwright, the other 20-game winner
in the National League. "Those are the only two that should have consideration,"
said Carpenter. Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez can gain his 20th
win against the Cardinals on Saturday, but Carpenter, a 16-game winner himself,
doesn't rank him as high as the other two. "He's won five games in the second
half," said Carpenter. "Not that he isn't a great pitcher. He's had a great
year. But the other two guys had much more consistency."
The Cardinals' shutout
game was the 28th in which they had been involved. At home they are 11-1 in
shutouts. On the road, they are 4-12.
LHP Dennys Reyes is done
for the season with a strained ligament in his left elbow and probably won't be
re-signed. "The only way to heal it is to rest it," Reyes said. "Why risk it? If
you go out there, you could pitch and lose the tendon. Then you're looking at
missing a year and a half instead of a few games. If we were still in the race,
I'd still pitch."
By the Numbers:
2 - Saves blown by RH reliever
Ryan Franklin, the Cardinals' closer, through the first 25 weeks of the season.
The problem was that he had only 28 save chances in that
Quote to Note:
- Manager Tony La Russa, about his
team dropping eight straight games to teams with losing records before finally
winning at Pittsburgh.
LHP Dennys Reyes
(strained ligament in left elbow) is done for the season.
1B Albert Pujols (mild
hamstring strain) was hurt Sept. 30 but returned Oct. 1.
RHP Adam Wainwright
(right forearm strain) was shut down for the season Sept.
RHP Blake Hawksworth
(mouth, lip lacerations) was struck in the face by a line drive Sept. 25 and was
hospitalized for observation. He was discharged from the hospital Sept. 26 after
requiring almost 30 stitches to close wounds in his mouth and upper lip. He
won't pitch again this season.
C Yadier Molina (sore
right knee) hasn't played since Sept. 21. An MRI on Sept. 22 found inflammation
in the knee, and he was shut down for the season.
LHP Jaime Garcia (arm
fatigue) missed starts Sept. 18 and Sept. 23, and the Cardinals announced Sept.
24 that he had been shut down for the season.
C Jason LaRue
(concussion) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 13. He was moved to the
60-day DL on Aug. 19, ending his season. He has announced that he will
3B David Freese (right
ankle surgery in August 2010, left ankle surgery in September 2010) went on the
15-day disabled list retroactive to June 28, and he was transferred to the
60-day DL on Aug. 15. He was originally out due to a bone bruise on his right
ankle, and then he broke his left big toe in mid-July. He tore a right ankle
tendon Aug. 2 in his first rehab game with Class AA Springfield, and he had
season-ending surgery Aug. 6. He underwent surgery on the left ankle a month
later, but he expects to be ready for spring training.
RHP Brad Penny (strained
upper back) went on the 15-day disabled list May 22, and he was transferred to
the 60-day DL on July 31. He threw bullpen sessions June 28 and July 1 but had
to cut short a bullpen session July 6 because of tightness in his triceps area.
He underwent an MRI on July 7 that found nothing that hadn't been diagnosed
before. As of Aug. 5, he was playing catch but not throwing off a mound. Penny
is out indefinitely.