The St. Louis Cardinals faced the Houston Astros last night, and looked to hand them their 100th loss of the season. They were certainly up to the task, as Kyle Lohse provided the pitching, and the Cardinals bats provided the timely hitting needed.
|St. Louis Cardinals||0||1||0||0||2||0||1||0||X||4||9||0|
|WP||Kyle Lohse (15-3, 2.71)|
|LP||Fernando Abad (0-5, 5.11)|
Behind the Box Score: Kyle Lohse out-dueled Fernando Abad to finally get his 15th win of the season. He also lowered his ERA to 2.71, which is the major’s fourth best. What makes that feat even more impressive is the fact that Lohse relies mostly on control, with pitches rarely traveling any faster than 91 mph. His final line last night was 7 innings, 4 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, and 0 runs.
The 7 innings last night moved Lohse into 10th in the innings pitched category, just an inning short of 200 on the season. Only Cliff Lee, Bronson Arroyo, Wade Miley, and Joe Blanton have fewer than Loshe’s 36 walks of anyone with more than 175 innings pitched. To say he deserves very serious consideration for this year’s NL Cy Young Award is putting it lightly.
Daniel Descalso began the scoring last night in the bottom of the 2nd, with a shallow single to center that scored Yadier Molina after his double and a throwing error sent him to 3rd. After that, there was nothing doing for either team, especially the hapless Astros.
In the 5th inning, the Redbirds finally chased Fernando Abad with 2 runs on 3 hits in the frame. After a Daniel Descalso lineout, Pete Kozma tripled, sending Kyle Lohse to the plate. With a drawn in infield, Lohse hit a bouncer just fair and past the 3rd base bag for a double, allowing Kozma to walk home. Jon Jay follwed with a double of his own, scoring Lohse. Carlos Beltran then struck out, and Jon Jay was caught stealing for the second time on the night. Yadier Molina had another dazzling play of his own, nabbing Justin Maxwell after a 4th inning walk.
The Redbirds added an insurance run in the 7th, as Jon Jay collected his second RBI of the night. The only things worth mentioning for the Houston Astros are that Fernando Abad finally went at least 5 innings, and that former St. Louis Cardinals 1st-rounder Brett Wallace had the Astros lone RBI on the night. Though Mitchell Boggs allowed a run, his ERA still is below 2.50 at just 2.43 on the season. Marc Rzepczynski pitched a third of an inning before yielding to Jason Motte, who relied on defensive gems from Jon Jay and David Freese for a perfect final inning which saw his WHIP dip to 0.96 and ERA get down near 3.00 at 3.02.
Quick Look at the Wild-Card Standings:
The St. Louis Cardinals gained a half game yesterday because of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ rainout, and look to add further to their lead tonight. Lance Lynn (15-7, 3.95) will take the mound looking for his 16th win of the season after a very strong 6 innings of work against the Dodgers last week. Furthermore, the St. Louis Cardinals are looking for their first 3 game winning streak in almost a month. Lucas Harrell (10-9, 3.86) will oppose Lynn, and has not had very good luck recently against the Redbirds. Most recently, he yielded 6 earned runs in just 5 innings of work while opposing Adam Wainwright‘s complete game 12 strikeout performance.
Jaime Garcia will take Thursday’s game just one day ahead of Chris Carpenter‘s return to the rotation that is sure to leave an odd man out. I’m hoping that it becomes a tough decision for Mike Matheny only because of Cardinals success. Certainly, if there is anyone who struggles down the stretch, their leash will be short. Go out and cheer on our Redbirds tonight at 7:15 pm tonight at the stadium. Let’s extend that tenuous lead!