Actually, the last four weeks have been rough for the St. Louis Cardinals overall and for the starting pitchers in particular. Lohse struggled in several starts following his last win on May 9 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Interestingly, that win also was his last decision.
Now he has another in the win column as he excelled last night, pitching 7 2/3 scoreless innings and allowing only three hits as the Cardinals shut out the Cleveland Indians 2-0.
A third inning home run by Carlos Beltran provided the only run K-Lo would need, although the Cards added an eighth inning run on a sacrifice fly.
Plus Marc Rzepczynski had a good outing! He didn’t even give up a hit! Well, true, after he relieved K-Lo with two outs in the eighth, the third out came when Yadi threw out Asdrubal Cabrera at second base. Still — progress for Rzep!
Really, though, the night belonged to Lohse. Manager Mike Matheny had much praise for him, according to Nate Latsch at Cardinals.com:
“Kyle was very good, very good,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “Just using everything. About as sharp as we’ve seen him. He wasn’t overthrowing the ball, he was just really locating. He was locating everything. He was back-dooring his breaking ball and making effective pitches inside. It was just a great display of pitching.”
And it was just what the Cardinals needed.
Last night’s Cards lineup had an interesting look. Matt Holliday was scratched just before the game began with back spasms, and he’ll be out today as well. Yadier Molina was the No. 3 hitter and he did have a single — one of the seven total hits the Cards had on the night. Beltran had three of those, with a single and double in addition to his homer.
The win put the Cardinals back to two games over .500 and only two games behind the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Central. However, the Pittsburgh Pirates are in between the two — just one game back.
Today the Cardinals will try to take their first-ever series from the Indians as Joe Kelly makes his major league debut the day after his 24th birthday. (What a nice birthday present!) If you’re not familiar with Kelly, take a look at yesterday’s post — Michael posted part of a Quad Cities River Bandits game that Kelly started two years ago. (You can see Matthew Adams in it as well — yes, he went by Matthew at the time.)
Opposing Kelly will be Ubaldo Jimenez. If you haven’t necessarily paid much attention to Jimenez since he was traded from the Rockies last July, he’s struggled a bit this year — currently he’s 6-4 with a 5.31 ERA. Game time is 1:15 p.m.
Christine Coleman is the senior St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.