Right-hander Kyle Lohse improved his record to 15-3, the highest
winning percentage (.833) in the major leagues, by beating Houston 4-1 on Tuesday
night. The victory nudged the Cardinals' wild card lead to 1 1/2 games over
Los Angeles, which was rained out in Washington.
Relative to Cy Young Award
consideration, a few pitchers have won more games than Lohse, but, besides his
top winning percentage, he is tied for second in the league in ERA at
"If we would have been able to hold
some of the leads that he had, there's no question he'd be right at the top of
that mix," said manager Mike Matheny. "But, still with a 15-3 record, he's got
to be in there in the talk."
Catcher Yadier Molina said of Lohse's
Cy Young chances, "Of course he needs to be considered."
Lohse said, "I know I'm up there in a
lot of stats. I'm sure a lot of people look at strikeouts and I don't have that
many (129). But I'm pretty consistent doing what I do."
And Matheny said, "He's thriving on
being that guy for us who's really set the bar for the rest of the
Lohse knocked in his third run of the
season when he chopped a high bounder, good for a double, over the head of third
baseman Matt Dominguez to help spark a two-run fifth inning. Lohse is 6-for-60
(.100) as a hitter.
The Cardinals scored their first run
in the second when Daniel Descalso, just 8-for-77 with men in scoring position
(.104), singled to right to score Molina.
Lohse gave the Cardinals' dugout and
the Busch Stadium a crowd a fright in the sixth when he slipped and fell while
delivering a pitch, but he remained in the game.
"That didn't look good at all,"
Matheny said. "He elbowed himself or kneed himself. It was just kind of awkward
looking. But the first thing I was thinking it was something related to the
hamstring or a knee."
Lohse said, "I was trying to throw a
fastball inside and the next thing I know I'm on the ground. It started when
(his foot) slid out from under me. I hit my knee. Then I hit my other knee. I
hit my triceps on my right side. I was looking around to make sure nobody was
laughing. They didn't laugh until they knew I was OK."
RHP Jason Motte gained
his 36th save, helped by good defensive plays from CF Jon Jay and 3B David Freese in the ninth. In the eighth, LHP Marc Rzepczynski had relieved RHP
Mitchell Boggs to pitch out of a two-on, two-out spot as RF Shane Robinson made
a good running catch to end the inning. Robinson said he had acted on a tip from
Jay during the pitching change to be aware for Houston SS Jed Lowrie trying to
take a breaking ball the other way.
RHP Jake Westbrook, who
has been out 10 days with a strained right oblique, will throw a bullpen session
on Wednesday night and said he could be ready to return a week from now. "I
missed a week of throwing, so I just need to get my arm in shape to start a
game," said Westbrook, although manager Mike Matheny said he didn't have a
timetable for Westbrook's return.
RHP Chris Carpenter's
first start of the season, after nearly a year-long struggle with a nerve
condition that affected his right shoulder and necessitated surgery, will be
Friday in Chicago's Wrigley Field, where his third and
last start of the 2008 season, after a lengthy rehab for an elbow problem, took
place on Aug. 10 of that year. Asked if there would be added intensity for him
in this stretch-drive start, Carpenter replied, "I've pitched in plenty of games
that mattered. I'm going out there with the same focus."
With RHP Chris Carpenter
returning to action, RHP Jake Westbrook reasonably near and RHP Lance Lynn
impressive last week in Los Angeles, RHP Joe Kelly, out of the rotation for now,
might well finish the regular season as a reliever. Kelly has a 5-6 record and
3.60 earned run average for 18 games, 16 of them starts and most of them quality
starts. "He'll always be in play," said manager Mike Matheny, "just like before
when we put him in the bullpen. It's a nice problem of having multiple guys who
can step in and start or come out of the pen."
SS Rafael Furcal still is
on the disabled list with a torn ligament in his right elbow and, though Furcal
has begun strengthening exercises, manager Mike Matheny said he was awaiting
information from the medical staff if Furcal would be available for any kind of
service as a pinch hitter or runner.
1 - Number of extra-base
hits for RHP Kyle Lohse this season. He bounced a ball for a double on
Quote to Note:
"Just another day at the
- C Yadier Molina, joking
after being hit by several foul tips in various parts of his body on Tuesday.
RHP Jake Westbrook
(strained right oblique) will miss a start or two but apparently will be able to
pitch again this season.
1B Lance Berkman (sore
right knee) underwent additional surgery Sept. 14 and is out for the season. His
career might be over as well.
RHP Chris Carpenter
(right shoulder surgery) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March
26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 10. He threw for the first
time since March on June 13 and then threw another 40 pitches on June 15. He
threw to hitters for the first time June 22 but then had a setback June 25 when
he felt renewed weakness in the shoulder. He said it felt better the next day,
and he had an extensive throwing session off flat ground June 27. On June 28, he
was told he has thoracic outlet syndrome, which can cause, among its effects,
weakness in one's shoulder. He underwent what was believed to be season-ending
surgery July 19 to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome. He is scheduled to come off
the disabled list on Friday, September 21.
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
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
Link to boxscore: St. Louis 4, Houston 1