Mike Matheny is giving Jake Westbrook another chance to remain
in the St. Louis Cardinals’ starting rotation.
In danger of losing five straight starts for the first time in
more than eight years, the right-hander tries to put an end to his
woes in Wednesday’s finale against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller
Westbrook (7-8, 4.35 ERA) is doing all he can to end a stretch
in which he’s 0-4 with a 10.13 ERA, having allowed 29 hits, walked
15 and struck out 10 in 21 1-3 innings.
“It’s always frustrating when you don’t give your team a chance
to win and do your job, which I haven’t been able to do the last
couple outings,” said Westbrook, who dropped his first five starts
He gave up seven runs and walked five Friday in 6 2-3 innings of
a 7-0 road loss to the Chicago Cubs, but that was not enough for
Matheny to pull him from the rotation.
“I know it’s frustrating to him and baffling to us on how to put
that all together,” Matheny told the Cardinals’ official website.
“He said, physically, he feels good.
“It’s just quality pitches right from the get-go. The guy is
such a pro, and he’s going through a thousand different things in
his mind of what he can do differently.”
Westbrook was solid at Milwaukee on May 2 when he allowed a run,
six hits and walked three in six innings of a 6-5 victory.
He hopes to help wild-card-leading St. Louis (72-53) get back on
track after its three-game winning streak ended with a 6-3 loss at
Milwaukee on Tuesday. Rookie Kolten Wong had three hits and Yadier
Molina hit a two-run homer, but the Brewers (55-71) scored five
times in the fourth to erase a 3-0 deficit.
“I know we have a stretch here where we’re playing a lot of
teams that are contending for playoff spots,” winning pitcher and
ex-Cardinal Kyle Lohse said. “Feels good to kind of hurt teams’
After going 0 for 5 on Thursday in his return from missing two
weeks with a sprained knee, Molina is 10 for 18 with five doubles
and two homers to raise his average to an NL-leading .336.
He’s batted .417 with two home runs and nine RBIs during a
12-game hitting streak against the Brewers this season.
Wong went 0 for 8 in his first three games since making his
much-anticipated major league debut Friday, but is 5 for 10 in the
Teammate Matt Holliday has followed a 12-game hitting streak by
going 1 for 19 through the first five of this six-game trip.
However, he’s 5 for 10 with a homer against Milwaukee starter Tom
Gorzelanny (3-4, 2.95).
After he gave up three hits in seven innings of a 10-0 victory
at Seattle on Aug. 10, the left-hander allowed five runs and two
homers in 4 2-3 innings Friday in a 7-6 win over Cincinnati.
Gorzelanny has a 3.60 ERA in five relief appearances this season
against the Cardinals, but has not faced them as a starter since
2011. He’s 2-5 with a 4.85 ERA in nine starts versus St. Louis.
Rookie first baseman Sean Halton had two hits with three RBIs on
Tuesday for the Brewers, who snapped a five-game home skid to St.
Halton was 0 for 10 with five strikeouts in his previous eight
Milwaukee All-Star Carlos Gomez could miss a sixth straight game
with a knee injury.