Lost amid Carlos Beltran‘s gaudy game was the fact that Jake Westbrook struck out a season-high eight en route to his best start of the season. Here’s to both looking good enough to sell jeans and performing.
And that’s saying something, because the Cardinal righty is now 13th in the league in expected FIP (Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn and second and ninth, respectively). Westbrook’s fielding-independent games scores for 2012:
|3||Apr 21||PIT||6 2/3||2||6||0||28||58|
|6||May 3||PIT||6 1/3||1||4||1||28||43|
Westbrook is succeeding with a familiar game plan: inducing grounders (a career-high 62.8% of them) and letting his defense do the rest. It works, as long as those grounders are weak enough and/or they are hit toward fielders enough. His fielders allowed an unnecessary runner or two (Allen Craig proved he’s no Keith Hernandez at first, failing to pick a couple of bounced throws), so the strikeouts came in handy. It helped of course that the Diamondbacks are the second-most strikeout-prone team in baseball (21.5% K rate).