Right-hander Jake Westbrook had
been one of the worst pitchers in the majors as far as allowing base runners. In
his first 86 1/3 innings, he had given up 107 hits and 36 walks with a 5.32
earned run average despite a 6-4 won-lost record.
Westbrook was nothing
like that on Friday. Mixing a killer sinker with a good changeup and cutter,
Westbrook not only fanned seven hitters but also limited Tampa Bay to just two hits and no runs over
seven innings in a 5-3 Cardinals victory.
After Westbrook had
thrown 112 pitches, he was lifted, and right-handed rookie Lance Lynn had a
misstep by allowing three runs in the bottom of the
"(Lynn) looked a little more
excited today," said manager Tony La Russa.
Fortunately, for the
Cardinals and Westbrook, center fielder Colby Rasmus had added on three runs in
the top of the eighth with his third homer in four games on this
Rasmus has only three
hits on the trip but he has made them count.
"I've changed a few
things in my swing," said Rasmus, who noted that he had been keeping his hands
and weight back better. "It's working so far, so I'm going to try to stay with
The third-year player did
allow, however, I'd like to get some more base hits in there."
As Rasmus circled the
bases, his victim, left-handed reliever J. P. Howell, went ballistic on the
field. Howell, slamming down his glove and then a new ball, let home-plate
umpire Vic Carapazza know he didn't concur with some of Carapazza's decisions
earlier in the inning as he issued two walks on full-count pitches. Howell was
ejected. Rasmus said he didn't notice.
"Colby's got so much
talent," said La Russa. "He's got the kind of swing that, if he repeats it, he
should be a .300 hitter. What a huge asset he could be."
Westbrook was pitching on
six days' rest, which might have been beneficial. "He had command of his
delivery, his emotions and his concentration," La Russa said. "He was
RHP Jake Westbrook hadn't
pitched past the sixth inning in five of his last six starts before Friday, but
he retired the last 12 men he faced as he completed seven innings. In
Westbrook's other start in an American League park this year, the longtime
American Leaguer hurled eight scoreless innings at Kansas City on May
The Cardinals played some
small ball in the second inning, scoring one run on a groundout and another as
third-base coach Jose Oquendo waved home 3B David Freese from second on C Yadier
Molina's single after Tampa Bay CF David Upton had dropped his arm and thrown to
apparently thought Freese, who had delayed in going to third, already had
scored. Freese hit safely for the fourth straight game after coming off the
disabled list (broken left hand). The Cardinals have won all
RH reliever Fernando
Salas gained his second save in two nights, although manager Tony La Russa had
hoped not to have to use Salas.
2B Skip Schumaker
extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a fifth-inning single. Schumaker's
career high is 12, established in 2009.
LF Matt Holliday was
feeling ill before the game, so La Russa installed Holliday as his designated
hitter, in essence, giving Holliday half a game off. Holliday was 1-for-5 but
hit three other balls hard for outs, including two made on diving plays by
BY THE NUMBERS: 6 - Number of
four-game winning streaks for the Cardinals after a win on
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's not all that
relaxing. But looking back at it, it's always fun. One of the highlights of my
career was in 2004 and the derby in Houston."
- OF/1B Lance Berkman on the
possibility he might be asked to compete in the All-Star Game home run
RHP Eduardo Sanchez (mild
right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 13.
He is unlikely to return before mid-July.
1B Albert Pujols
(sprained left wrist) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 20.
Pujols was diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture of the radius bone in his
left forearm, and he will be out until late July or early
OF Allen Craig (broken
right kneecap) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June
C Gerald Laird (broken
right index finger) went on the 15-day disabled list May
RHP Adam Wainwright
(Tommy John surgery in February 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 25.
He will miss the entire 2011 season. He was scheduled to play catch on flat
ground in late June.
July 2 at RAYS: Kyle McClellan (6-4, 4.02) vs. Jeff Niemann (2-4, 5.58) 6:10
p.m. CDT (FOX Sports
Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio