Cards confident with rotation heading into season

Cards confident with rotation heading into season

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- After logging six innings in each of his previous two starts, Jake Westbrook closed out his Grapefruit League work with a four-inning performance on Friday.

Westbrook threw 70 pitches (40 strikes) in the game. He walked four and allowed five hits and four fourth-inning runs. In his first five starts this spring, Westbrook combined to allow only eight earned runs in 20 innings.

"It was somewhat of a weird game because I felt like I pitched pretty well, other than a couple of missed spots that they really took advantage of," said Westbrook, whose first regular-season start will come next Friday in San Francisco. "It wasn't my best day. But I feel good about where I am."

The Cardinals feel good about where their rotation is collectively, too. Before Westbrook's so-so start, the Cardinals' other starters ended their spring work with impressive results. That included an eight-inning performance from Jaime Garcia, six shutout innings from Lance Lynn and a six-inning, two-run start by Adam Wainwright.

Those four pitchers, along with fifth starter Shelby Miller, combined for a 3.78 spring ERA. Garcia's was the lowest (2.48), and he logged more innings than anyone else on the club with 29.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.