At a time when the stumbling
Cardinals needed it and erratic right-hander Jake Westbrook also needed it, the
veteran dialed up one of his best games of the season in beating the Mets, 6-2.
Westbrook, mixing his
trademark sinker with a changeup and cut fastball, induced 17 ground-ball outs,
including two double plays, as he threw only 90 pitches over eight innings on a
steamy day at Citi Field.
"It was probably one of
the better games I've thrown all year," said Westbrook, who has a surprisingly
good 8-4 record despite an earned run average that has been above 5.00 all
His mark of 5.04 after
Thursday's game represents his lowest of the season.
Westbrook, who pitching
coach Dave Duncan said "needs to pitch in the bottom of the strike zone," is
controlling counts better. With only one walk, Westbrook has walked none or one
in six of his last seven starts.
But he has been past the
sixth inning in only seven of his last 10 starts.
"I think my downfall all
year has been consistency," he said. "I'd have one good ballgame and then some
really bad ones, and then some middle-of-the-road ones. Hopefully this will be
the one that gets me back on track."
RHP Kyle Lohse left the
team Thursday to return to St. Louis and have the inflamed middle finger
on his pitching hand examined by Dr. George Paletta. "He's still scheduled to be
our guy Sunday (in Pittsburgh)," manager Tony La Russa said.
"We'll keep our fingers crossed." Lohse is 8-7 with a 3.45 ERA this season in 19
starts, but is 0-3 with a 7.64 ERA in July.
1B Albert Pujols got RHP
Jake Westbrook off to a good start with a two-run home run, his 21st, in the
first inning after a nine-pitch at-bat. "I still don't know if I was right not
to (start) him (Wednesday)," La Russa said about resting Pujols against Mets
knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. "He's a force. We're lucky he's on our side and all
the years in the past and forever, I hope."
Besides shackling New
York on only four hits and two runs for eight innings Thursday, RHP Jake
Westbrook, not known for his hitting, drew a key walk on a three-run fifth. On
the next play, as he slid into second, he was hit in the back by a throw from 1B
Lucas Duda, with a run scoring.
2B Nick Punto handled 10
chances flawlessly, including the pivot two double plays. Manager Tony La Russa
said former manager Tom Kelly of the Minnesota Twins, for whom Punto played the
previous seven seasons, told La Russa, "He's just a
CF Jon Jay, who seems to
have wrested the regular job away from skidding Colby Rasmus, had two hits and
drove in a run. Jay is nine for his last 18 and is batting
BY THE NUMBERS: 32 -
Consecutive games, since June 9, in which the Cardinals hadn't stolen a base
until C Yadier Molina stole his second without a throw
QUOTE TO NOTE: "They
definitely were not using their run defense."
- Manager Tony La Russa, on the
Mets after C Yadier Molina stole second base in the ninth
RHP Kyle Lohse (inflamed
middle right finger) left the team July 21 to have an exam in St. Louis. He is still
scheduled to start July 24 at Pittsburgh.
INF Nick Punto (sore
right elbow) left the July 16 game. He pinch-hit July 17 but didn't play July
18-19. He played as a reserve July 20, and he started at second base July
LHP Brian Tallet
(strained right intercostal muscle) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive
to July 4. He was injured while sneezing.
RHP Eduardo Sanchez (mild
right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 13.
He began a rehab assignment with Class AA Springfield on July 7 but had renewed
soreness soon after and was shut down until late August or early
OF Allen Craig (broken
right kneecap) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 8. He might
return in late July.
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.
July 22 vs. PIRATES: Chris Carpenter (5-7, 3.69) vs. Paul Maholm (6-9, 3.06)
6:05 p.m. (FOX Sports
Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio
VIDEO FROM FOXSPORTSMIDWEST.COM
Tony TV: Tony La Russa assesses Jake Westbrook's eight innings pitched after the 6-2 win over the Mets.
Jon Jay and Jake Westbrook discuss the team's second win since the All-Star break.