Presently St. Louis is 1 game ahead of Atlanta for the best record in the National League, which would secure home field advantage through to the Fall Classic. However, if ATL wins versus Philly and STL loses to Chi Town, the advantage will be given to the Braves since they bested the Cards in the season series.
So today’s games are definitely more than worth watching or following during NFL game’s commercials and halftime shows.
While Jake Westbrrok is starting (for the first time this month) the Cardinals savior Joe Kelly will be ready to come in to relieve the aged veteren.
Westbrook has had a solid career with St. Louis after almost a decade with Cleveland. His best and somehow least remembered moment was in game 6 of the 2011 World Series at Busch. He retired a dangerous Rangers lineup on only 7 pitches in the top of the 11th inning before David Freese made history with his walk-off that will never be forgotten in the bottom of the frame.
Westbrook had a fine start in 2013 (especially at home) and nice smile on the cover of Sports Illustrated before coming down to earth. But his success this year might have been sabotaged by skipper Mike Matheny‘s decision to bring him in after Shelby Miller was hit by a line drive in the elbow in the first inning of a game on August 7th. Westbrook got destroyed. But many who were familiar with the 36 year old sinker baller were not surprised at the 5 run shelling. For example, Cards ex-pitching coach Dave Duncan compared Jake to an old-car that needed time to get warmed up.
Since that night, Westbrook has never returned to any form on the mound other than awful. Even his strong bat and seniority couldn’t keep him in the rotation or bullpen.
That terrible game also coincided with the continued rise of one Joe Kelly who proved to be a key for the Cardinals hunt for a red October.
Today is another time that MM has made fans cringe, this time by starting a guy who has gotten no work in September in what is a crucial game. If Westbrook happens to get blown up and cannot make it out of the first couple of innings, then sure Kelly will be waiting.
But that is a very risky situation.
Runs could be hard to come by with Jeff Samardzija on the hill for the Cubbies. Plus Adron Chambers and Kolten Wong will be at the bottom of the lineup showing off the non-existant bench for the Redbirds.
St. Louis has won 53 games at Busch and Atlanta has won 55 at home making today monumental.
Go Cards and Go Phillies!