Kyle Lohse has quickly established himself as a major force in the National League as he gained his 12th win of the season on Thursday.
The Cardinals won the close nail-biter against the Padres with a 4-3 victory. Lohse solidified himself as the Redbirds ace and probably should have been selected into the All-Star game.
With his 12th win Lohse tied Edinson Volquez of the Cincinnati Reds and put himself only one win behind the league leader Brandon Webb of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Maybe Lohse should have gotten the All-Star nod however, it has passed and I'm glad that he's proving people wrong by pitching out of his mind. The journeymen right-hander threw seven innings while giving up only two runs on seven hits coupled with four strikeouts.
That's a nice consolation prize.
St. Louis took it to San Diego's own ace Jake Peavy by hammering him with the long ball. Troy Glaus continually proved his amazing rebirth by hitting a pair of home runs off of the young flamethrower.
Rick Ankiel came back with a vengeance by hitting a solo shot of his own to tie Ryan Ludwick for the team lead.
For some strange reason Ryan Ludwick was given the day off after his All-Star trip and was replaced by Chris Duncan. Duncan would prove to once again show why he his considered a true power hitter; with strikeouts.
The defensively inept outfielder went 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts to further prove why he should be sent back down to the minors. A boneheaded move on the part of manager Tony La Russa. Fortunately, enough offense was generated to cancel out Duncan's lackluster night at the plate.
Despite Peavy's seven strikeouts, the Padres kept him in the game. That would prove to be a mistake. A pinch-hit home run from Joe Mather would all but put the game out of reach for the Padres.
The call for bullpen help for the Cardinals reared its ugly head once again. Ryan Franklin managed to make the game interesting by allowing a run on a pair of hits.
The good news was that Rick Ankiel proved that he was not seriously injured and still had power in his bat. Troy Glaus continued to blossom hitting behind Pujols and Ankiel by raking a pair of round-trippers.
The only ugly spot once again was the bullpen. As St. Louis continues to have their offense step up, the cry for a solid closer and set-up man shakes the very foundations of the new Busch Stadium.