Posted: Oct 4, 2012 11:20 AM by Ashley Colley
Updated: Oct 4, 2012 11:36 AM
ST. LOUIS -- It's win or go home for the St. Louis Cardinals. On Friday, the defending World Series Champions will face-off on TBS against the Atlanta Braves at 4:07 p.m. CT in the NL Wild Card playoff game. The winner moves on to host the Washington Nationals while the loser hangs their gear up for the year.
On Thursday, the Cardinals named Kyle Lohse - who is celebrating his 34th birthday - as the starter for Friday's showdown. Lohse finished the regular season with a 16-3 record along with a MLB best .842 winning percentage. This season he also set a career high 211 innings pitched to rank eighth in the majors with a 2.86 ERA.
"It feels real good to know that they trust me enough to go out there and pitch in a one-game playoff. That's something you dream about as a kid. Now I get to go do it," Lohse said. "I've had a good year. I feel like I've done everything I could this year to help get us in this position. I'll do everything I've been doing to help win on Friday."
It won't be easy for Lohse though. On May 30, 2012, the Braves handed Lohse a loss after scoring five runs and tallying five hits in his five-inning start.
Lohse said, "That was kind of a turning point for me that month. I figured out some things that I did incorrectly that game. I'll make the adjustments I need to make and go out there and have a good plan."
Lohse would go on to win nine of his next ten after the loss to Atlanta.
"He deserves this game. He deserves the chance to go out there and take it on," said Chris Carpenter. "He's able to handle that responsibility. And I know he's going to be looking forward to it. I'm excited about watching him go out and pitch."