ST. LOUIS (AP) — Clutch hitting deserted the St. Louis Cardinals throughout the postseason. The power arms that got them to the World Series finally gave out, too. For the third straight year there’s satisfaction in the achievement of making a deep October run. They were close to a second title in three years, largely thanks to rookie Michael Wacha, and there’s no reason they can’t keep contending. The way it ended, it felt as if they’d missed by a mile. Going forward, it appears the NL champions have plenty of payroll flexibility. They haven’t said whether they’ll seek a contract extension with free-agent Carlos Beltran, who would like to stay.
NEW YORK (AP) — The World Series television rating on Fox was up 17 percent over last year but was the lowest for a matchup that went at least six games. Boston’s 4-2 Series win over St. Louis averaged an 8.9 rating, 15 share and 14.9 million viewers, Nielsen Media Research said Thursday.
San Francisco’s four-game sweep of Detroit last year averaged a record-low 7.6/12 and was seen by 12.7 million viewers. That was among only three Series that had lower ratings than this year’s, joined by 8.4 ratings for Philadelphia’s five-game win over Tampa Bay in 2008 and San Francisco’s five-game victory over Texas in 2010. Boston’s 6-1 victory in Wednesday night’s clincher received an 11.3/18 and was seen by 19.2 million viewers, baseball’s highest rating since Game 7 of the 2011 World Series.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals declined their $9.5 million option for next season on pitcher Jake Westbrook, who was not on their postseason roster after battling elbow and back injuries much of the year. The 36-year-old Westbrook, who was 7-8 with a 4.63 ERA, gets a $1 million buyout.
The sinkerballer appeared in 21 games, all but two of them starts. He was barely used late in the year and got the start in the season finale as a nod to his contributions, working one scoreless inning. Westbrook is 105-103 for his career. He was 36-32 with a 4.27 ERA in three-plus seasons with St. Louis.