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Friday, April 18, 2008

Have You Heard About the Lohse-some Loser?

Have You Heard About the Lohse-some Loser?
Posted by Andrea Reiher in St. Louis Cardinals
April 18th, 2008

[Ed.’s note: Don’t be scared, Chris Russell has some familial obligations keeping him from posting so Andrea has demanded valiantly stepped in to do a few posts about the Cardinals.]

Look at that form!

Look at that form!
Have you heard about the Lohse-some Loser?
Beaten by the Queen of Hearts every time.
Have you heard about the Lohse-some Loser?
He’s a loser but he still keeps on trying.

Except he’s not a loser anymore. Kyle Lohse is off to an unbelievable start this season. Yes, he’s pitched against the Nationals, Giants and Brewers. But the kid has still recorded an ERA of 1.48 and a WHIP of 1.03. If it weren’t for some stellar screwing up yesterday, he’d be 3-0 but instead will have to settle for 2 wins and a no decision.

The last two years for Cincinnati, Lohse had a combined record of 9-17 with an ERA of 4.58. The year before that, with Philadelphia, his era was creeping towards 4.80. This year? His ERA is less than ONE-THIRD of that. And his pitches have looked great. I’ve watched his starts; he throws a lot of first-pitch strikes and there has been a lot of movement on his two-seam fastball. He is also extremely efficient; yesterday, he threw 36 pitches through 3 innings and 63 through 5.

I attribute a good chunk of this success to our Pitching Wizard Dave Duncan. His sons may alternately have a gross wad of chaw in their mouths or have girls’ names, but the man can coach pitchers. We routinely take less-than-stellar guys and suddenly turn them into pitching machines (see: Weaver, Jeff, Suppan, Jeff and Marquis, Jason).

I’m a little concerned that if Lohse can keep this up, considering the plethora of pitchers we are supposed to get back, we’re going to use him as trade bait. Personally, if we have a young guy pitching this well I’d rather see him stick around than see us trade him and take our chances on the Mulder/Clement Tilt-a-Whirl.

Other quick notes:

Rick Ankiel leads the team in HRs and RBIs with 4 and 11, respectively. The most impressive things? Some positively Edmonds-like plays in center (and not old can’t-get-the-jump-on-the-ball-Edmonds) and two days ago when he hung on through a 17-pitch at-bat to get the walk.

Albert Pujols ain’t doing too shabby either. His AVG/SLG/OPS looks like .365/.635/1.142. He doesn’t get much to hit, but he’s been spraying singles and doubles all over the field.

Braden Looper and Adam Wainwright both have ERAs under 2.80.

Honestly, I said it all spring: I am strangely and inexplicably optimistic about this team. I got shouted down at every turn, sometimes by my own family members (that profanity was NOT appreciated, Grandpa.) But so far even my high expectations have been completely surpassed. Let’s hope yesterday was just a hiccup and go take 3 from the Giants.

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