Kyle Lohse: Better Than You Think

Fact: Kyle Lohse led the Cardinals this season with 14 wins.

Fact: Kyle Lohse finished the season brilliantly, going 3-0 with a 1.72 ERA in his last five starts, zero home runs allowed.

Theory: Kyle Lohse is better than you think.

You might still be stuck with the pre-Cardinals Kyle Lohse, who posted a 4.82 ERA while pitching for the Twins, Red and Phillies. You might be stuck with the 2009-2010 Kyle Lohse, who did pitch for the Cardinals but wasn't really healthy in either season, and got hammered.

The 2008 and '11 version, though? He's good. Keeps the ball down, strikeout-to-walk ratio around 2.5, which is plenty good when you keep the ball down.

And Kyle Lohse was plenty good in the first inning of Game 4 tonight. He retired Nyjer Morgan on a grounder, struck out surprise right fielder Mark Kotsay with a perfect fastball and, after Ryan Braun singled, struck out Prince Fielder, too.

The last time Lohse pitched, he had one bad inning. But one bad inning don't spoil the whole bunch.

Heading to the bottom of the first, Game 4 is scoreless.

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