(BaseballStL) -- Jake Westbrook felt like he should have pitched better in his last start, which was also his first since returning from the disabled list due to elbow inflammation.
In that first start back, Westbrook took the loss in a 5-4 defeat by Miami Marlins last Friday. He scattered eight hits and allowed five runs, three of which were earned, over five innings. It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t what he expected.
Wednesday’s start against the Chicago Cubs, a 4-1 win, went much better for the 35-year-old righty.
“I felt good,” Westbrook said. “I had a really good sinker tonight and I was locating it a lot better than last start which helps. Down in the zone really helps a lot and I was able to mix it up enough to get a lot of big ground balls.”
The sinker helped Westbrook induce 14 ground ball outs, including two (almost three -- see Matt Carpenter error in 2nd inning) double plays. All of this while allowing only five base runners and one unearned run in seven innings pitched (25 batters faced).
“Jake was good, very good,” Mike Matheny said. “He seemed to find a real good release point for that sinker and kept things in the bottom of the zone, lots of ground balls, lots of opportunities. He gave himself a chance to pitch out a little trouble when he couldn’t get the help defensively.”
It was the start he was expecting...only it came five days later.
As for his once-ailing elbow, Westbrook said it was fine after the start.
“It’s feeling better than it was,” Westbrook said. “It’s going to be a grind for me I think the rest of my career so it’s just kind of one of those things to keep it to where it’s manageable and go out there and do the best I can.”