How hard is pitching?
Wednesday afternoon in St. Louis, Jake Westbrook recorded his 99th major-league win.
Jake Westbook is 35 years old. He's been traded for Mike Lansing and for Hideki Irabu. He's been a professional baseball pitcher for nearly 17 years. He's been a major-league pitcher for nearly 13 years. He's had a really good career ... and has averaged roughly eight wins per season since first reaching the majors.
No. 99 was something special, as Westbrook threw his first shutout since August, 2006.
Westbrook's opposite number didn't fare quite as well. Homer Bailey tossed six scoreless innings in his 2013 debut last week against the Nationals, but Wednesday he gave up seven runs before getting yanked in the sixth; his ERA's now 5.73.
Before the game, there was a short video piece about Bailey's no-hitter last September. This was a complete surprise to me. According to my brain, Homer Bailey has never thrown a no-hitter.
Today's lesson? Don't trust my brain. Oh, and Jake Westbrook isn't getting older; he's getting better.