Jake Westbrook pitched as well as he is capable Friday, holding the San Francisco to one unearned run in 6 2/3 innings of work.
But the Cardinals batters seemed to be clueless in their effort to solve the mysteries of Barry Zito, a pitcher who hasn't posted a season ERA below 4.00 since 2006. they were held to three hits, two of them collected by first baseman Allen Craig.
While Westbrook put up the numbers, it wasn't necessarily a pretty effort. the Giants loaded the bases in the bottom of the third when Zito, an .097 career hitter, was allowed to reach base by hitting a pitch right down the middle.
Westbrook got out of that jam. But he loaded the bases right back up in the bottom of the fourth with a lead off walk, a hit to centerfield and an error on Zito's sacrifice bunt attempt by Yadier Molina. The St. Louis starter didn't help his cause when he walked Angel Pagan to push home the only run of the game.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
After that the Redbirds couldn't muster any sort of rally and they went quietly to fall to a disturbing record of 1-3 on the early season with rookie Shelby Miller scheduled to start Saturday.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Craig.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Westbrook kept the game competitive in the fifth after his walk by keeping his composure and ending the inning with the bases loaded to prevent further damage.
Lowlight: The Birds were 0-for-1 with runners in scoring position. One runner reached second base the entire game against one of the most vulnerable pitchers in baseball. Pathetic.