Kyle Lohse is at it again. In game one of the final series before the All-Star break, Lohse shutout the Pirates for seven innings, allowing six hits and striking out three, before handing it over to the bullpen. Lohse now sports an 11-2 record, and lowered his ERA to 3.39, putting him neck and neck with the best pitchers in the National League. If he keeps this up, the Cardinals should look very seriously at a long-term extension for him.
Following Lohse was left-handed rookie Jamie Garcia, making his Major League debut. Garcia just turned 22 three days ago, and the kid made a nice first impression. He allowed just one hit and a walk in the final two innings. He also struck out a pair. The Cards have now had 10 players make their big league debut with them this season. As George Von Benko points out, that’s a staggering number for a team in contention.
Thanks to the stellar pitching, the Cardinals could have won with just a single run. Instead, they plated six, including home runs from Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick. Both Ankiel and Troy Glaus had three hits a piece, while Yadier Molina chipped in with a pair of RBI. The Redbirds had 13 hits in all.
So a well played game on both sides of the ball ends in a Cardinal victory. Here’s the complete box score. The win puts the Cards back at 10 games over .500, but still trailing the Cubs by 4.5 games. If Milwaukee can hang on to win tonight, they’ll remain a half game ahead of St. Louis.
In game two tomorrow night, the Cardinals will face yet another left-handed starter. Phil Dumatrait will start for the Bucs, making it the seventh consecutive game the opposing team started a lefty. The last right-hander the Cards faced was Carlos Zambrano, back on July 4. Todd Wellemeyer will start for the Redbirds tomorrow.
An interesting trade rumor popped up today. According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, both the Cardinals and Diamondbacks are looking at Pittsburgh outfielder Jason Bay. Apparently, top prospect Colby Rasmus is the target for the Pirates. Hat tip to Tim Dierkes from MLB Trade Rumors. I think Rasmus for Bay would be an asinine move, but luckily, I’m sure John Mozeliak does too.