ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 23: Allen Craig #21 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates with Ryan Jackson #8 after scoring on a double by Matt Holliday #7 during a game against the Houston Astros at Busch Stadium on August 23, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)

Cardinals Vs. Astros: St. Louis Completes Sweep Of Houston

The Cardinals are trying to chase down a wild card spot.

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St. Louis Cardinals' Jake Westbrook Signing Probably Prices Them Out Of The Kyle Lohse Sweepstakes

Maybe that's the wrong way to say it. I'll try again: Now that the St. Louis Cardinals are priced out of the Kyle Lohse sweepstakes, they've signed Jake Westbrook. After beating Bud Norris and the Houston Astros Wednesday, Lohse is sitting at 13-2 with an ERA of 2.61; after a strong comeback season in 2011 he's having his best season ever in 2012.

That's good news for the Cardinals' current Kyle Lohse deal, which looked like an enormous bust after he struggled through its first two seasons. But anybody who's planning to sign Kyle Lohse's next contract has watched, all summer, as the price has risen to a place most people don't want to go for a 34-year-old control artist.

Especially a control artist whose xFIP, over four on the season, is a solid run-and-a-half higher than his ERA. I can't take anything away from Lohse, who's been an efficient, consistent delight all year, but he's gone from looking like a one-or-two-year guy to the kind of pitcher who will probably ask somebody for four more years, even if he doesn't get them.

Jake Westbrook, meanwhile, has bounced back from his own mediocre season to be stupendously Jake Westbrook. It's a perfect fit.


Tyler Greene's Hit .355 Since The St. Louis Cardinals Traded Him To The Houston Astros

Here's a Tyler Greene trade update that should inspire some Serious Feelings of one kind or another: Since the St. Louis Cardinals traded him to the Houston Astros for a PTBNL or cash (that's code for nothing), Greene has gone 11-31 with three doubles, two home runs, and a stolen base. Admittedly, he's also struck out 10 times without a walk. Overall he's now hitting .238/.282/.400 on the season, a jump of 53 points from his OPS with the Cardinals.

I'm on the record as being a little frustrated that the Cardinals put themselves in a position where the only option was to cut bait on Greene—despite Daniel Descalso's offense cratering and Skip Schumaker not really being a second baseman—but it's probably not worth getting too worked up about, even with the Astros coming to town.

In the meantime, I'm happy to see him succeed in Houston, where they have no choice but to play him. The player he could be at his peak—a guy who hits like Rob Deer, runs like Carlos Beltran, and plays shortstop—would be a lot of fun to watch, even if it's not with the Cardinals.

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