It must be gratifying to win against your former team. That is exactly what Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse did against the Phillies on Saturday as the Redbirds won 3-2.
Sporting a smirk, Lohse recounted how it felt to beat his former team.
"Obviously they felt they didn't need me bad enough and I didn't mind going out there beating them today, I can tell you that."
After a humiliating 20-2 loss on Friday night, this was the remedy the Cardinals needed to get back on track and stay in the hunt in the NL Central.
Lohse had been fooling the Phillies batters all afternoon by mixing pitches and changing speeds. He retired 15 of the last 16 batters he faced, while pitching eight innings but only giving up two runs on four hits.
His only mistake came on a 1-0 pitch to Pat Burrell with Ryan Howard on first in the fourth inning. Burrell drilled the pitch over the left-center field wall for a two-run home run.
The Phillies only managed one more base-runner the rest of the afternoon on a single by pitcher Adam Eaton.
Lohse's efforts did not go unnoticed as Cardinals outfielder Ryan Ludwick gave some praise all around.
"All of our starters are doing a great job," Ludwick said. "Give the credit to those guys and [pitching coach Dave Duncan] too. Duncan brings guys in here and they always seem to throw well."
The Cardinals starters have contributed to 33 of the team's 41 wins. The Redbirds continue to plug holes in the pitching rotation with injuries to Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, and Mark Mulder. Their rotation looks more like a stitched-up monster than a major league pitching rotation.
Yet, the patchwork seems to be holding with only minor leaks with Todd Wellemeyer's debacle last night and recent call-up Mike Parisi's rough outings.
The Cardinals jumped out to an early lead in the first inning with an Adam Kennedy two-run jack over the right-field wall.
The veteran second baseman didn't know he had hit his first roundtripper since Aug. 4, 2007.
"When you don't hit many, you don't really ever know," Kennedy said. "But I knew I hit it okay."
Kennedy's two-run homer gave the Cardinals a cushion which they added onto in the third with Ryan Ludwick driving home Skip Schumaker. It would be all the runs the Cardinals would need.
Ryan Franklin came into the ninth and shut down the hot-hitting Phillies by retiring Howard, Burrell, and Geoff Jenkins with only four pitches.
Ludwick not only contributed with his bat, he also made a great catch to end a game that showcased his talents. He further made his case to be in his first All-Star game.
Never at a loss for words, manager Tony LaRussa summed the game up in only a few words.
"That was a hell of a ballgame."