Monday, August 10, 2009

Looking Ahead: Lohse Looks to Rebound

Posted By on Mon, Aug 10, 2009 at 12:40 PM

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So that leaves Lohse. It isn't fair to judge a player by his contract, and I try never to do so. Players are never really paid by what they've done, after all; players are paid by how much leverage they have. But Kyle Lohse got a whole bunch of money, and a whole bunch of security, just not too long ago, and he needs to get it turned around. We should probably all just forget his last start; I respect the hell out of him for taking the mound in the midst of such a time of personal trial, but in hindsight, we might all have been better off if Kyle had taken some time to get his head right. Tough to say, really, and that's why I just write that start off. 

But as for the rest of his starts, there's no such easy answer as to why he's struggled so badly. After displaying really remarkable control last season, Lohse has been maddeningly inconsistent since coming back from the DL. In 22 July innings, Lohse posted only a 12/9 K/BB ratio, and that just isn't going to get the job done. Maybe he's just struggling with trying to get back into a rhythm after missing time for the first time in his career; I don't really know. Regardless of the reason why, though, Kyle needs to get it together, and he needs to figure it out soon. 

As I said, the Cards can just avoid Wellemeyer for the most part the rest of this season if they so choose, and even the occasional bad game from that quadrant isn't going to sink them. But I don't think they can absorb two starters going in the tank; this team probably needs to play at least .600 ball the rest of the way to feel really good about staying in front of Chicago, and that's tough to do if you're essentially punting one or two games every time through the rotation. Add in a bit of regression for Pineiro, and it's easy to see the Cards really need Kyle Lohse to step up. 

The Cincy series should be a pretty decent place to start. The Reds aren't anywhere near the offensive juggernaut they have been in recent years, and Lohse needs to take advantage of that fact. 

The Cardinals are going to need Kyle Lohse to be the guy they handed the big contract to the rest of this season. If he isn't, even this shiny new offense may not be enough to keep piling up the victories. 

Then again, it might. 

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