Lohse ended up throwing sixth innings. He allowed three earned runs on six hits. He uncharacteristically walked four batters and two of the hits he allowed were home runs.
Lohse wasn’t nearly as good in this one as he was in his first four outings, but he didn’t need to be. The Cardinals scored two runs in the third and then one in the fourth on Freese’s homer.
In the sixth with the score tied at 3 after the Brewers tied up the game on an Alex Gonzalez home run, Molina came through with a homer of his own with Carlos Beltran on board to give the Redbirds a 5-3 lead.
Molina raised his average to .324 after going 4-for-4 with the home run, 2 runs and 2 RBIs. He was also honored before the game with his third gold glove award.
The win brought the Cardinals record to 14-7 and they maintained a four game lead over the Cincinnati Reds. The Brewers are now five games back.
- Freese now has 20 RBIs. He previous high for a month was 17.
- Lohse also won four games in April 2011.
- Molina leads the team with 8 multi-hit games.
- The Cardinals are 11-2 in games when they score first.
MY TWO CENTS
For what it’s worth, no matter what happens today the Cardinals have to be extremely happy with the way they opened this season.
There was plenty stacked against them; the schedule was downright brutal, they’ve lost Chris Carpenter for at least three months, they’ve been without, Lance Berkman, Schumaker and Allen Craig for different periods and they’ve received nothing from their second basemen (until recently at least). Neither Matt Holliday or Adam Wainwright has performed to their abilities. Plus, they did it all with a brand new manager and after losing a player once believed to be impossible to replace.
There is no doubt that this team is one to be reckoned with in the National League and has the potential to defend their World Championship title. The best part of it if you’re a Cardinals fan is that they can be better. If Carpenter returns it is like having a mid-season signing that they don’t have to pay for in any way. If he doesn’t Lance Lynn has been more than respectable in his spot.
Once Berkman and Craig return there is the chance for even more explosiveness from the lineup. At the least the power gets distributed through more players. Holliday will begin to hit more consistently and Wainwright will get stronger as the year progresses.
I’ll hold out hope that one of the three men playing second base will emerge as the regular and bring some consistency to the position. If none of the three is working out, general manager John Mozeliak can look to fill the void through a July trade.
Mike Matheny will continue to grow as a manager, and quite frankly it should make other teams nervous. Though he never managed a day in his life at the professional level, he hasn’t seemed inexperienced at all. So, if he can only get better then it follows that the Cardinals are in very good hands.
So, a win today seals a sweep and a fantastic first month. A loss shouldn’t force us to call it anything short of the same. The Cards have already accomplished two things this season, getting out to a great start and showing they are ready to defend their title.
Tags: Adam Wainwright Alex Gonzalez Cardinals Carlos Beltran David Freese Jaime Garcia John Mozeliak Jon Jay Lance Berkman Lance Lynn Matt Holliday Mike Matheny NL Central Skip Schumaker St Louis Cardinals Yadier Molina Zack Greinke