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Despite some hiccups, the one area the Cardinals have been consistently good in is starting pitching.
Kyle Lohse (9-2), Lance Lynn (11-4), Adam Wainwright (7-8) and Jake Westbrook (7-7) have all put together productive years.
Lohse, with his 2.79 ERA, is well on his way to having the best season of his career. He has given up only 36 runs in 18 starts and has a 1.08 WHIP. Since returning healthy for the start of 2011, he has been invaluable to the Cardinals.
The rookie All-Star Lance Lynn, who was tapped to replace Chris Carpenter, has had a better season than anyone could have anticipated. Opposing batters are hitting only .235 off the hard-throwing Lynn, who has stacked up 105 strikeouts to date.
Adam Wainwright, after a scary April and being shaky in early May, has come into his own and began to look like the Wain-o of old. He’s 5-4 with 59 strikeouts in his last 10 starts and has given up three runs or less in eight of those starts.
Rookie Joe Kelly has also done a fine job of replacing Jaime Garcia, who is on the DL due to a shoulder injury. He still has room to grow, but has been a pleasant surprise through the All-Star break.
Jake Westbrook, despite a string of four consecutive bad starts, has been a real asset in the No. 5 spot. It’s important to remember that fifth starters aren’t expected to win every night but rather keep the team in the game. In his last 10 starts, Westbrook has given up four runs or less seven times.