Lohse Comes Up Short as Brewers Take NLCS G4

In losing on Thursday night, the St. Louis Cardinals lost their chance to finish the NLCS at home. Tied 2-2, they must return to Milwaukee for Game 6 and 7 if needed.



In a surprise turn of events, the Cardinals are getting no help from their rotation.

St. Louis had its fourth consecutive postseason start of five innings or fewer Thursday night. This time, neither the offense nor the young, hard-throwing bullpen could correct the starter's inefficiency in a 4-2 loss to Milwaukee that evened the National League Championship Series at two games apiece.

Much like his last start, 12 days before in the National League Division Series, right-hander Kyle Lohse pitched effectively for three innings before having trouble the second time through the lineup. In the fourth and fifth innings, the Brewers put together three doubles and a single off Lohse, good for three runs.

"I thought his stuff was good," manager Tony La Russa said. "His delivery was good most of the time. A couple of times that he wasn't sharp, good hitters got him."

Lohse said, "I'm not going to blame it on the layoff. We're professionals, and we've got to get the job done. Tonight we didn't do it."

Matt Holilday and Allen Craig homered, producing the Cardinals' only runs in the last 16 innings.

The Cardinals and Brewers, who also split 18 regular-season games, are all square again heading into Friday night's Game 5. Left-hander Jaime Garcia, who lasted just four innings in Game 1, will oppose Milwaukee right-hander Zack Greinke.

"I think it's classic because playing each other so many times, we're dead even," La Russa said. "It comes down to that day, who makes the pitch."




The Cardinals will have to win at least one game in Miller Park to take the NL pennant. St. Louis is 5-6 there this year, counting the playoffs.

"We're pretty much the only team that's played pretty well in Milwaukee. Flip the page and hopefully come back to tomorrow. It's a great series. Nobody is going to run away," 1B Albert Pujols said.

The Cardinals were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position during Game 4. CF Jon Jay and 2B Ryan Theriot each failed to deliver a runner from third with less than two outs.

Cardinals relievers have worked 17 1/3 innings in the series. They have been very efficient for the most part, but RHP Mitchell Boggs allowed a key run in the sixth inning Thursday.

3B David Freese, playing in the postseason for the first time, singled in the third inning, extending his playoff hitting streak to eight games. He is 13-for-31 (.419) with four doubles, three homers and 11 RBI during the streak.

RF Lance Berkman, had a pinch single in the ninth inning, sat out the start with a minor right thigh bruise. However, he is 3-for-32 in his career against Milwaukee LHP Randy Wolf, so he wouldn't have started anyway.

RF Allen Craig had been 1-for-15 against Brewers LHP Randy Wolf in the regular season, but he lined a knee-high pitch on the outside of the plate for his first playoff homer in the third inning. Craig probably won't play Friday, however, if Berkman is able to go, as expected. Berkman, who has a minor right thigh bruise, appeared as a pinch hitter Thursday.

The Cardinals' streak of scoring in the first inning ended at five games when they went down in order Thursday.

BY THE NUMBERS: .383 - 1B Albert Pujols' career average in NLCS play, covering 29 games. He has hit safely in 24 of those games, going 41-for-107 with eight home runs.


QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's not something that you ever set out to win."


- RF Lance Berkman, on being selected the National League Comeback Player of the Year. Playing in his first season with the Cardinals, Berkman batted .301 with 31 home runs and 94 RBI in 145 games. He hit .248 in 2010 with the Astros and Yankees.





RF Lance Berkman (bruised right thigh) was hit by a pitch in Game 3 of the NL Championship Series. He appeared as a pinch hitter in Game 4, and he is expected to start Game 5.

2B/OF Skip Schumaker (right oblique) was injured in Oct. 7's NLDS Game 5. He was left off the NLCS roster.

RHP Adam Wainwright (Tommy John surgery in February 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 25. He will miss the entire 2011 season. Wainwright was getting closer to throwing a full-strength bullpen session in September, but he will not be allowed to throw his signature curveball until next year.



Fri., October 14: vs. BREWERS: Jaime Garcia vs. Zack Greinke, 7:05 P.M. CDT (TBS, ESPN Radio, KMOX).


4:30 – 6:30 P.M. A Special Pre-Game Rally in Ballpark Village (Clark & Broadway)

                        live music with Griffin & the Gargoyles, other entertainment, prizes and more

                        Appearances by Fredbird, Team Fredbird, and the Cardinals Rally Squirrel

                        Photo opportunities with former Cardinals players and the ‘82 and ‘06 World Series trophies

Gates will open two hours before the game

40,000 Fans to Receive a Rally Towel sponsored by Scotts and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch


<a href='http://www.foxsportsmidwest.com/pages/video?UUID=016aaaca-952e-42fc-9edf-ef785a3d86a9&src=SLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Cards after loss'>Video: Cards after loss</a>
Kyle Lohse, Allen Craig and Lance Berkman discuss the Game 4 loss to Milwaukee.

<a href='http://www.foxsportsmidwest.com/pages/video?UUID=a0d29569-e09e-4554-a149-4e419fcd08a4&src=SLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='La Russa on loss'>Video: La Russa on loss</a>
Tony La Russa reviews his team's performance against the Brewers during Game 4.

Tony La Russa's full post-game comments (from MLB and ASAP Sports)

Q. What did you take from Kyle's [Lohse] outing tonight?

La Russa: Well, I thought his stuff was good. Delivery was good most of the time. And, you know, couple of times that he wasn't sharp, good hitters got him.

Q. What are the challenges that come with just a season series against these guys that's so even? What are the challenges that go along with something like this?

La Russa: Well, I think it's classic because playing each other so many times, we're dead even. And I think there's going to be a lot of similarities and it comes down to that day to, you know, who makes the pitch. Today, Wolf, we had a couple of chances to have a run, and Wolf made outstanding pitches. It's that close a contest.

Q. Do you think Wolf was vulnerable early or is that putting it too strong?

La Russa: Well, I mean, I thought we took some really good at-bats to create some stuff, but we had twice where we had a runner the third and one time Jay didn't get him in, one time [Theriot] -- he's a productive guy. He just made really good pitches, and we didn't create a whole lot after that, because he pitched really well.

Q. What is it that Wolf has done? He's had some considerable success against your club recently, but he can stop anybody on any given night. What does he do?

La Russa: Well, he's a pitcher. He's got a real good idea, he moves in and out, up and down, changes speed. He's got a nice fastball, cutter, changeup. Got a lot of outs on curveballs today. Probably the biggest thing he had working; we made a lot of outs on the curveball.

Q. What was your thought on your good friend, Jim Leyland, and his Detroit Tigers picking up that win today?

La Russa: Well, he had his back against the wall. They've had a lot of tough games and finally one went their way. They deserved as well as they played, so they are still alive.

Q. I know you like your bullpen, but how important is it for the starters to go deeper in the game? That's four starts that they have not gone past the fifth inning.

La Russa: We had a chance to win today. This is October. This is not the season where when this series is over you have to play for another 20 days or something. It's real simple. This is the end of the season for these starters, too, so they are probably not as strong. Go as far as you can, as long as you can and we have plenty of bullpen help.

The better they pitch and the deeper they get in the game, then it's less outs for the bullpen, but just, you know, as hard as you can, as long as you can.

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