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Lohse will get ball in wild-card game

6:25 AM, Oct 4, 2012   |    comments
Kyle Lohse (26) throws during the second inning of game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE
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(The Cardinal Nation Show) -- The Cardinals will go with recent history rather than the more distant past when they send Kyle Lohse to the mound Friday night at Atlanta against the Braves in the first wild-card play-in game.

Lohse never has won a postseason game in nine appearances, four of them starts, and is 0-4 with a 5.54 ERA. One of his worst games of this season came at Atlanta on May 30, when he gave up five runs in five innings to the Braves in a 10-7 loss.

But Lohse finished the season with a 16-3 record, the best percentage (.842) of any major league starter, and manager Mike Matheny rewarded him with the start.

"It feels real good to know they trust you enough to pitch in a one-game playoff. That's something you dream about as a kid," said Lohse, 33, who almost surely will be leaving as a free agent.

Never regarded as a No. 1 starter before in his career, Lohse said he wasn't going to try to sway anybody's judgment now.

"I'm not going to try to tout myself," he said. "I'm not saying, 'Hey, look at my numbers. I should be looked at as something different.'

"It's not up to me to validate myself. People can think what they want. I don't really care."

Matheny, however, looks at Lohse as "a Cy Young (award) candidate, a guy who's been as consistent as you could ever ask any starter to be."

The Cardinals lost five of six games to the Braves this year and don't have strong left-handed answers to a Braves lineup that features four left-handed-hitting regulars and switch-hitting Chipper Jones.

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