John Jay had a big night. (AP photo)
Well, my complaints about the Cardinal’s recent lack of offense have been laid to rest, at least for tonight.
13 runs, including an 8-run explosion in the 3rd inning. 15 hits. Every starter save pitcher Jake Westbrook scored at least once, and everyone save Westbrook and leadoff hitter (!) Rafael Furcal had a hit, although Furcal walked twice.
John Jay, back from resting the shoulder he hurt crashing into the center field wall last week, went 3 for 5 with a run and 3 RBI. Matt Holliday was 3 for 3 with a run and 2 RBI. Even Skip Schumaker went 2 for 3 with 3 RBI and 2 runs scored.
One thing that really made me happy, beyond the fact they gave the Brewers another shellacking (they’ve out-scored Milwaukee 39-9 in four games) is that they did it all without a single home run. I have long felt homers were way over-rated. Most people like them for the sheer excitement of the power they represent or the thrill of a timely-hit dinger changing a game with one stroke. A walk-off homer gets some of the biggest applause of anything in the game.
It has always irritated me that teams who win without sluggers driving the ball over the fence are referred-to as playing “small ball.” Tonight, at least, the Cardinals sneered at that insulting characterization.
Westbrook had another quality game. 7 innings. 7 hits. 1 earned run. 5 Ks. 20 first-pitch strikes to 27 batters, and when a ball went into play, it was more than twice as likely to be on the ground rather than in the air.
In fact, the whole rotation, save Adam Wainwright (and we’ve already covered that) is performing very well, as Derrick Goold writes in the Post-Dispatch.
In other circumstances, I might be tempted to ask, “how’s the view from the cellar, Albert?” But that would be petty, and doubtless premature, at this point.
Lohse goes for number 4 tomorrow.