In Jake Westbrook's head it all made sense.
Fall on the sword, head to the bump a day early and even if you give up some runs…. well, you kept the Cardinals in a game where the starter was knocked out after 2 pitches. You cowboy'd up. You were a team player.
In Mike Matheny's head it all made sense.
Westbrook knows his body. Miller was the victim of bad luck. He'd already made his 'long-save' option in the pen a starter who pitched the day earlier. Carlos Martinez was on full rest ready to get called up from AAA ball for Thurday's game. Maybe this was the spark that got Jake going.
4 2/3 innings, 9 runs and 13 hits later I think it's safe to say the 'Surprise Westbrooking' was an unmitigated disaster.
Mr. Westbrook has given up 21 runs in the past 4 games played. For those keeping scoring at home, that's 21 runs surrendered in 21 and 2/3 innings. You don't have to be a math major to figure out that nearly 1 run per inning pitched isn't going to cut it in a pennant race.
The Cardinals and Mr. Westbrook have a mutual option for next season for over 8 million dollars. As we approach mid-August it's unlikely that he'll be back.
He's also not going to the minors. Or getting put on waivers. If Carlos Martinez blows the doors off Busch Stadium tomorrow night and Shelby Miller's elbow heals quick, Westbrook probably becomes the long-relief guy out of the pen, getting a spot start here and there.
And there will be spot starts.
But for now, by going all-in, Westbrook busted. His spot in the rotation is up for grabs. It was another poor outing in a season that is quickly piling up too many.
He's forcing the youth movement to come sooner than later.