Cardinals will go with recent history rather than the more distant past when
they send Kyle Lohse to the mound Friday night at Atlanta against the Braves
in the first wild-card play-in game.
Lohse never has won a postseason game
in nine appearances, four of them starts, and is 0-4 with a 5.54 ERA. One of his
worst games of this season came at Atlanta on May 30, when he gave up five runs in
five innings to the Braves in a 10-7 loss.
But Lohse finished the season with a
16-3 record, the best percentage (.842) of any major league starter, and manager
Mike Matheny rewarded him with the start.
"It feels real good to know they trust
you enough to pitch in a one-game playoff. That's something you dream about as a
kid," said Lohse, 33, who almost surely will be leaving as a free
Never regarded as a No. 1 starter
before in his career, Lohse said he wasn't going to try to sway anybody's
"I'm not going to try to tout myself,"
he said. "I'm not saying, 'Hey, look at my numbers. I should be looked at as
"It's not up to me to validate myself.
People can think what they want. I don't really care."
Matheny, however, looks at Lohse as "a
Cy Young (award) candidate, a guy who's been as consistent as you could ever ask
any starter to be."
The Cardinals lost five of six games
to the Braves this year and don't have strong left-handed answers to a Braves
lineup that features four left-handed-hitting regulars and switch-hitting
NOTES AND QUOTES
RHP Shelby Miller, the
2009 top draft pick making his first major league start, held the Cincinnati
Reds hitless for 5 2/3 innings and finished a six-inning stint allowing just a
bloop single by shortstop Wilson Valdez as the Cardinals scratched out a 1-0 win
in the regular-season finale. Miller fanned seven, those strikeouts exhausting
only 23 pitches. "He had us eating out of his hand," Reds manager Dusty Baker
said. While Miller gave up one hit, he got his first two major league hits, a
double and a single, after going hitless in 27 at-bats at Class AAA Memphis and
one with the Cardinals this year. "I really couldn't have asked for more," said
Miller. "I'm thankful for the opportunity that the Cardinals gave me. I know it
wasn't the biggest game of the year, but it meant a lot to
RHP Jason Motte recorded
his 42nd save, marking the first time in franchise history that one pitcher had
achieved all the team's saves. He also tied Atlanta RHP Craig Kimbrel for the
National League lead. "Pretty cool," Motte said of both
1B Lance Berkman, batting
for the first time in nearly a month after undergoing his second right knee
surgery, tapped out as a pinch hitter. He was accorded a standing ovation in
what probably was his final at-bat with the Cardinals. Berkman, who still hopes
to be ready later in the postseason, said, "It was certainly a nice sendoff but
something I've come to expect from this crowd here, to see the class these
people have. The people are some of the best in the world, and it's my privilege
to have gotten to play here."
CF Jon Jay did not play
Wednesday, which meant he ended the season without a fielding error. He is
hoping for his first Gold Glove.
C Yadier Molina finished
the season with a .315 average, marking the first time a Cardinals catcher had
led the team in hitting in two consecutive seasons. Molina batted .305 last
LHP Marc Rzepczynski,
appearing in his 70th game, fanned Cincinnati 1B Joey Votto in the ninth inning.
That might have improved Rzepczynski's chances of staying on the roster for the
wild-card game Friday against Atlanta's lefty-dominated
Rookie SS Pete Kozma was
the only Cardinals regular to start Wednesday's season
88-74 - Cardinals' final
record, two wins fewer than when they won the World Series title last
Quote to Note:
"We're not going to use
roster spots on starting pitching that we don't think we'll
- Manager Mike Matheny,
on the team's plans to not add more than one or two starting pitchers to the
roster for the wild-card play-in game.
RHP Jake Westbrook
(strained right oblique) was injured Sept. 8, and he probably is out for the
rest of the regular season. He encountered discomfort in a bullpen session Sept.
22 in Chicago
and had to stop throwing. "If I do get the opportunity to pitch (in
postseason)," he said, "I think it would have to be out of the
1B Lance Berkman (sore
right knee) underwent additional surgery Sept. 14. He made a pinch-hit
appearance on the final day of the season Oct. 3.
SS Rafael Furcal (torn
ligament in right elbow) was placed on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 31 and is
out for the season. He might need Tommy John surgery, but he got a platelet-rich
plasma injection on Sept. 4 in the hopes of avoiding having to go under the
knife, but as of Sept. 19 he still hadn't been able to do any baseball
activities. Furcal plans to meet with doctors the week of Oct. 1 to see whether
he can begin a throwing program.
RHP Kyle McClellan (torn
labrum in right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18 due to a
strained right elbow, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 30. He
threw on flat ground for the first time July 3, but he subsequently felt
shoulder pain. He had season-ending shoulder surgery July 10. McClellan will
begin a throwing program in early November.
Link to boxscore: St. Louis 1, Cincinnati 0