Best Cardinals Player

Yadier Molina

Kyle Lohse's 2012 win-loss record is impressive — at 15-3 as of this writing, he leads all major-league starters with an .833 win percentage. But as is always the case in baseball, beneath the numbers there are...more numbers. Of the 31 games Lohse has started so far this season, the Cardinals have won 20 and lost 11. Eight of those losses have been by one run. Lohse's ERA in those games: 3.18. (For the sake of comparison, 2011 American League Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander has made 30 starts, of which his Detroit Tigers have lost 12. Verlander's ERA in Tigers losses: 5.23.) All this only two years removed from a hairy surgical procedure on his throwing forearm. Now, where were we? Oh, yeah. "Best Cardinals Player" of 2012. That'd be Yadier Molina. The Redbirds catcher is enjoying a terrific season of consistent excellence, and one that's largely flying under the radar — on the strength of a stellar second half and a likely division title, San Francisco Giants backstop Buster Posey will receive more NL Most Valuable Player votes than Yadi when all's said and done, no question about it. But while Molina's awesome 2012 is eluding notice outside the 314, Lohse is underappreciated year in and year out — even by our very own "Best Fans in Baseball."

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