Kyle Lohse (26) throws during the second inning of game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE
By Harry Stephenson
(The Cardinal Nation Show)-Tonight the Cardinals (64-53) aim to capture their 6th win of the season against the Diamondbacks (58-59), while Arizona is still looking for their first win against St. Louis-should the Cards win, it will be the second and final series sweep during this season's regular play. Since last season, the Cards have won nine of the last twelve matches, seven of them in a row. And, since they have moved into the Wildcard slot-the position they were in when they began last season's successful drive to the World Series-every win becomes that much more crucial.
Taking the mound for St. Louis will be righty Kyle Lohse, who has continually found success all season. Lohse is 6-0 in his last ten starts. In those 67.2 innings, he allowed 18 runs to come from 58 hits, while striking out 46. Since June 4th, Lohse has allowed more than two runs only twice, earning him a 2.24 ERA for those 13 games, and he has allowed more than three runs just three times this season.
For Lohse, who is 12-2 this season, consistency is the name of the game. He has exhibited quality outings in nearly all of his appearances; he has the best win percentage in the National League-at .857-as well as the fourth best ERA, at 2.72. Although his last outing was a loss, he allowed a single run over seven innings: his only one for the 13 innings he's thrown this month, bringing his August record to 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA.
Trevor Cahill will be Lohse's counterpart, and he will do everything in his power to salvage at least one win for the D-backs. Cahill's record is shakier than Lohse's, standing at 9-10, and his ERA is higher, at 3.85, but he will not be easily overcome. He has a nasty sinker, and if he can hold the Cards to three or less runs, then the ballgame could be a lot closer than the numbers suggest.
Unfortunately, this young righty has put up his stronger numbers in the first half of the season. Following his mid-season complete game shutout-his best performance all year-he began giving up more runs, and the amount of homeruns he allowed spiked. He went from 3 homeruns in his first 11 games to 12 homeruns in the subsequent 12 games. He did, however, show an increase in strikeouts, so his season has not been entirely downhill.
Interestingly, Cahill is several games into a unique streak where he alternates winning and losing each time he starts. This streak has run since July 2nd, and having lost his last outing, the strange pattern forebodes a victory despite giving less than three runs only once in his last ten appearances.
In their last ten starts, Cahill has lasted seven fewer innings than Lohse, allowed nearly twice as many runs, and delivered three less strikeouts. If Lohse is going to outduel Cahill, he needs to hold on to his win streak, and limit his runs allowed as Cahill tends to allow more, even when he wins.
The game will begin this evening at 7:15 in St. Louis's Busch Stadium.