Cardinals sinkerballer Jake Westbrook recorded just the second complete game of the 2013 season Wednesday in a 10-0 rout of the Reds. It was his fourth career shutout.
Westbrook pitched a five-hitter for his first shutout since 2006. He had two that year while pitching for the Indians: one against the Royals, the other against the Angels.
After giving up nine runs in the ninth and losing 13-4 on Monday, the Cardinals came back to win the next last games in the series against their NL Central rivals, outscoring the Reds 15-1 in the process. Jon Jay, Carlos Beltran, Matt Adams and Matt Carpenter all homered today.
There were eight days without a complete game in between Clayton Kershaw’s Opening Day shutout of the Giants and Westbrook’s shutout today, which is pretty extreme even in this day and age. There were 128 complete games in MLB last year, 13 of which came in April.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.