ST. LOUIS (BaseballStL) – For the second straight year, Kyle Lohse will start the first game of the playoffs for the St. Louis Cardinals, and this year the team can’t afford the same performance he gave last October.
Lohse allowed six runs, five of which earned, in 5.1 innings pitched against the Philadelphia Phillies in an 11-6 loss in Game 1 of the NLDS. Of course, the Cardinals would rebound to beat the Phillies and eventually clinch the franchise’s eleventh World Series championship, but under the new wild-card format, the team and Lohse can’t afford to slip up.
The postseason hasn’t been friendly to Lohse in his career as he is 0-4 with a 5.54 ERA in nine appearances. The Braves were equally unfriendly earlier this season to Lohse when he was given a no-decision after allowing five runs on nine hits over five innings pitched on May 30.
The Cardinals will lean on the right arm of Lohse for at least one more game this season and although he has been the most consistent pitcher on the team this season, you would have to wonder if his postseason past will come back to haunt him.
Lohse will be countered by Braves starter Kris Medlen. The right-hander has been phenomenal this season, in particular his last ten starts. Since August 11, Medlen has posted an 8-0 record with a 0.86 ERA and two complete games.
He was named NL Pitcher of the Month for September and has posted a 10-1 record with a 1.57 ERA in 50 games, which includes 12 starts.