St. Louis pitcher Shelby Miller is obviously in pain after being hit in the elbow by a comebacker.

St. Louis pitcher Shelby Miller is in pain after being hit in the elbow by a comebacker.

Before Steve Lyons could gush “Rookie of the Year,” the Cardinals’ starter, Shelby Miller, was walking back to the dugout with a bruised right elbow after being hit by a second-pitch comebacker that gave Carl Crawford a double, his first of four hits in yesterday’s rout of St. Louis, 13-4.

Not a bad strategy, knocking out the starter in the first inning. The Cards had to punt, bringing in a reliever who was nowhere near ready to finish the first — although that guy, Michael Blazek, did a good job and got three outs without giving up a run.

The Cards then pulled  Jake Westbrook — originally slated to start tonight — out of the rotation to “restart” the game. He wasn’t as lucky as Blazek. The Dodgers had his number and blitzed him with six runs in the second. Westbrook had to stay in the game, though, to eat up some innings.

Using Westbrook early means the Cards are going to have to pull somebody up from AAA to start in our last game there tonight.

Now, of course, I don’t condone hurting any player intentionally, but it sure makes a difference when you throw their whole pitching strategy for a loop.