ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 8: Jake Westbrook #35 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws to a Milwaukee Brewers batter at Busch Stadium on September 8, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images) By KMOV Web Producer
ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 10: Jon Jay #19 of the St. Louis Cardinals high fives Jake Westbrook #35 after defeating the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium on April 10, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images) By Jeff Curry
(KMOV.com) -- To the untrained eye, it would seem the 10-0 win at Busch Stadium was only about four homers and 10 runs on 14 hits that the Cardinals put on the Reds in the rubber match of this three game series.
But we all know Cardinals fans are much more trained than that, right?
Jake Westbrook’s fourth career shutout will go down as a mere side note to massive power display the offense put on at Busch. It won’t be talked about much. Seriously...dishing out ground balls isn’t nearly as sexy as hitting 416 foot bombs into the center field stands.
It all gets you the same place though. And that’s in the win column.
Jake Westbrook is off to a dangerously under the radar beginning to the 2013 season. He’s pitched 15 and two-thirds innings and given up a big fat zero in the earned run column. That’s right. Zero. His ERA reads as follows: 0.00 at the moment.
Only Clayton Kershaw (arguably the best pitcher in baseball) and Paul Maholm can say the same thing.
Westbrook is crucial to the Redbirds success this season for one simple reason. He’s a steady, veteran force where you know what you’re going to get. Lance Lynn? Jaime Garcia? Shelby Miller? They are not veterans. They have very little track record, relatively speaking. You certainly don’t know what you’re going to get from them.
The 35-year old Athens, Georgia native has to provide the consistency this season that the younger starters quite possibly won’t offer. He’s not a super star. He’s not going to win the Cy Young anytime soon. But he doesn’t require the long term commitment other upper echelon pitchers require and he pitches with the exact philosophy this organization preaches.
Jake Westbrook isn’t the face of this franchise nor does he expect to be. Yet he gives the Cardinals potent bats a reasonable chance to win just about every time he touches the ball. And, for a guy like him, that’s absolutely all you can ask.