Westbrook Wows With Complete Game Win

Jake couldn't stop doing this after the game -- and do you blame him?

Jake Westbrook had a five-hit complete-game win.

Let that sink in for a second — just like Jake’s best pitch was doing so well last night.

Jake Westbrook had a five-hit complete-game win.

After last Thursday’s much-improved outing against the Chicago White Sox, Westbrook followed it up with an even better performance against the Detroit Tigers as he allowed only an unearned run in the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 victory.

Apparently, Westbrook likes facing the American League — and maybe he really likes the DH. At least it could look that way.

This was Westbrook’s first complete game as a Cardinal, and his first since May 16, 2010. And he got better as the game went along.

The Tigers only run came in the third inning when Gerald Laird ended up at second after Daniel Descalso couldn’t field a pop up to shallow right and then scored on Austin Jackson’s double. That was the only inning where the Tigers had more than one hit, and they didn’t have any at all after Delmon Young’s sixth inning double. Westbrook had 15 ground-outs, thanks to his successful sinker, and he struck out five.

His happiness over the complete game was unmistakable, as he couldn’t stop smiling after the final out. And he wasn’t the only happy one, as Rick Hummel reports:

After Westbrook gained the final out, on a ground ball, of course, he embraced catcher Yadier Molina, slapping him on the back three times and then pounding his fist one time into his glove.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Westbrook. “Every time you go out there, you want to finish what you start. But to have an opportunity to do so is pretty special.”

Molina savored the moment equally. “I care too much for the pitchers,” he said. “Every time you see that happen to a great guy and great teammate like Westbrook, you have to be happy for him.”

The win evened Jake’s record at 6-6 for the season and dropped his ERA from 4.27 to 3.83.

So now we’ve solved the bullpen issue that Miranda wrote about Tuesday and for a night stopped the slide that Tara mentioned yesterday. Complete games — the solution to everything!

The offense improved for the Cardinals too, with 12 hits. Even better were the two in his final two at-bats by Rafael Furcal. Yet that old nemesis, the double play, was back again too. Without the GIDPs by David Freese, Yadi and Skip Schumaker, the score could have been even better (although since Yadi’s came with the bases loaded and no out, at least a run scored).

But, for now, hits are hits and a win’s a win.

Today, the Cardinals will try to take the series from the Tigers in a game that starts at 12:05 Central Time. Kyle Lohse starts for the Cardinals, facing Jacob Turner — a 21-year-old rookie from St. Louis who Mike Matheny is very familiar with. But it’s good to see our manager have this perspective on Turner: “I’m a fan. But I’m not that big a fan.”

For the Tigers’ perspective on this series, check out Motown Lowdown.

Christine Coleman is the senior St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email aaronmilesfastball@gmail.com. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.

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