ST. LOUIS (AP) - It's all about the routine for the new and improved Jake Westbrook.
Once a week, but only once, he abandons the no-carbohydrate diet that helped him shed 20 pounds and splurges for an Italian dinner because his wife is such a good cook. On the mound, every delivery begins the same, with his glove at mid-chest.
Radical change motivated by the St. Louis Cardinals winning the World Series pretty much without the right-hander has been working so far. Westbrook is 2-0 with an 0.64 ERA entering Saturday's start at Pittsburgh.
The 34-year-old right-hander had used a full windup with the bases empty his entire career, and thought that might have led to an erratic release point for his pitches. Teammates also believed he was tipping pitches.