Can Westbrook do it again?

The St. Louis Cardinals sit just 2 games out of first place, and begin a 3 game series against the Miami Marlins tonight.  Jake Westbrook looks to continue his recent success, and will face Ricky Nolasco, who is just 6-6 with a hitter friendly 5.16 ERA.  If the Cardinals can stay patient, I firmly believe that their recent success against the Kansas City Royals can be much more than a fluke.   If Cardinal pitching can hold Giancarlo Stanton, José Reyes, and Hanley Ramírez in check, it’s plausible to think that the Cardinals can capture another 3 game sweep, and possibly even sit atop the NL Central again.

Can Westbrook build on his last start?

Some readers may think I’m crazy, but recent success against the Marlins would suggest that both of those things happening is not a far reach.  The Redbirds won the inaugural game at Marlins Park on April 4, and have reeled of 6 in a row against the Fish.  There’s no telling what Jake Westbrook will take the mound tonight – the one who struggled to start the season, or the one who pitched a spectacular complete game in his last outing.  Looking at his stats against the Florida Marlins, history dictates that it’ll be the later.  The Athens, Georgia native is 1-0 against them with a crisp 2.96 ERA in 4 starts.



Can the Cardinals find Nolasco's weak spot too?

The opposition countering with Nolasco sure doesn’t hurt Westbrook’s chances either.  Since May 6, his ERA has jumped from 2.72 to the 5.16 that it stands at currently.  Furthermore, the Marlins are just 5-16 so far this month after a torrid May.  Looks like both teams have a bit in common, right?  It seems that both are a little schizophrenic, trying to find a balance between offense and defense, and not really quite figuring it out up to this point.  Hopefully this is a series that the St. Louis Cardinals can look back in the rear-view and say that they built on the great series that they had against the Kansas City Royals.




Averages on the up-tick:  Since June 1, Matt Holliday‘s batting average has risen from .277 to just one point shy of .300.  Another key cog is David Freese, who has seen his average go from .262 to .279 this month.  While Jon Jay came up and Matt Adams got sent down, and you can’t really compare the two players in stature or playing style, there is a solid upgrade there as well.  I’m not saying that Matt Adams won’t be a valuable player in the long term, but he could also be a key bargaining chip in a possible trade as the Cardinals look to improve their bullpen.  A consistent lefty out of the pen would make any fan feel much better about the rest of the season.

Lohse said it:  As I wrote in my last article, Lohse basically said that you better watch out if we get our frustrated offense moving in the right direction.  I agree with him.  There’s a saying, however cliche it may be that goes a little like this:  It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog that matters.  While the St. Louis Cardinals look like a mish mosh of players considering all their injuries this year, the team is just two games out of first.

I won’t jinx the Redbirds by saying that a sweep is imminent, and that they’re going to be sitting comfortably in the driver’s seat by the time that they face the Cincinnati Reds again soon, but it’s very possible.  Comment below and let me know what you think about the recent 3 game winning streak, as well as the prospects of that continuing through the Marlins series and beyond.

Tags: David Freese Jake Westbrook Kyle Lohse Matt Holliday Miami Marlins Redbird Rants Ricky Nolasco St Louis Cardinals

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  • johnwvideo

    This is now Wed,  he did Ok Monday,. However I really wish he had that extra day, it shows in his performance especially In KC. that extra day off really helps Westbrook and you could see it Monday on regular rest. He is not as sharp..
    Next is the big issue of Carps set back and Garcia, as well will Lynn hold, he is showing signs of fatigue now. So they may really be in the market for a starter they can resign not a rental to waist a prospect.. Thats another story  !!

  • JABenoit01

    Well, I guess we’ll see what happens with Carp. I’m not convinced that they need another SP, and Westbrook did pretty well against the Fish. Lynn is showing lack of control lately – hopefully he can pick it up in his next start!

    Joe Kelly looks good, though too many walks, and too few strikes. I say give him 7-10 starts and he’ll get many of the kinks out this year, and be ready by next year or a couple years later.

    I don’t know how Shelby Miller has done lately…haven’t been following quite as closely as last month.

    This latest 5 of 6 has me very very hopeful though!

  • johnwvideo

     @JABenoit01   Here is my point, Yes we have to wait on Carp, but I think they should consider him done with this set back.. I mean lets just NOT count on Carp.
    With that said.. Garcia is till in limbo, and as you said Lynn is showing signs, to me he is showing stamina as well as control. So now we might be 3 starters in the whole..
    Westbrook REALLY need that extra day, it show !
    Now Miller, He is still under there so called “Miller Rules”  like last night he pitched 5 BUT threw 80 pitches and only 50 or so for strikes, he still has those control issues and wont go to his secondary’s, Hence the RULE.
    Here is where I like Kelly much better, Though he is NOT the answer for Aug and Sept..
    This is where I really think MO has to at least get on the phone and start looking for a real ACE or 2nd pitcher, NOT a 4th or 5th BUT a real pitcher.
    Here are some names I have been hearing on Talk radio..
    RA Dicky, if the Mets start to fold.  Now he is having one great year and he is signed threw next year CHEAP!!   last year he had a real good season BUT got NO run support. these next 2 years might be is best, and he is up there in age.
    Greinke, if the Brewers fall way back. here is a guy IF I can resign, I would give up Miller  in a second.. He wont be cheap BUT we will clear some 22M off that pitching next year. Yes we may resign Losch BUT only if he comes cheap and for 2 years max, Losch may be headed for a big payday like Suppon..
    Can you imagine Greinke in this line up> especially after his immuture comments about Carp.. I think he would be perfect as a cardinal for 4 to 5 years,. We will have the money
    Garza, I mam just not sure he is a fit in St. Louis, but no doubt the Cubs will be selling and like Greinke we CAN get him..
    Percell from Detroit.. is another, though he is more like a 3 pitcher BUT could do well in St. Louis.,.
    Point is. MOI MUST start looking.. for one or 2 pitchers.. Lynn can always go to the pen and help, as well Kelly if needed or he goes back down to get more work.
    Now to finish, what I dont want to hear and have been hearing is Craig in on a trade, They would be totally MAD to even think his name.. Craig is our future, you can see it in him as he adjust to pitches. Given 600 at bats he is our next Albert for 4 to 5 years,,