Welcome back, Jake Westbrook. Welcome to the 10-win club, Adam Wainwright, and congratulations on strikeout number 1,000 (and numbers 1,001 through 1,005).
And the performances by Westbrook and Wainwright — and Friday night’s and Thursday afternoon’s games — proved that great pitching and pitchers’ duels are a lot more fun, and a lot less frustrating, to watch.
Which is exactly what happened Friday as the Marlins beat the Cardinals 5-4. Westbrook allowed all 5 runs, though only 3 were earned, and 8 hits in his return from the disabled list while the Cardinals struck out 13 times on their way to scoring those 4 runs. Ouch.
And sometimes expected pitchers’ duels — like Wainwright vs. the Mets only good pitcher this season, Matt Harvey — actually live up to expectations. The Cardinals prevailed 2-1, Waino won his major league leading 10th game and Edward Mujica earned a shaky-yet-successful 19th save.
Ah, well, both of those games are now baseball past. Today is a new game — and today is also the 30th anniversary of a trade that Chris Jaffe describes at The Hardball Times as “one of the most incredible and obviously one-sided trades of the 1980s occurred” — the Cardinals trade of Keith Hernandez to the Mets for Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey.