After four innings last night, the Cardinals had scored seven runs. Ryan Ludwick hit two home runs. Albert Pujols made one round trip. And Brendan Ryan tripled in two runs. Not bad. The only problem: Kyle Lohse and the bullpen were serving up even more big hits. The Cards seven runs were trumped by Arizona’s eight through four innings. St. Louis went cold the rest of the way and Arizona tacked on another run to finish the game 9-7.
Pitchers usually dream of a night like that. A flurry of early runs puts them at ease and allows them to calmly mow down the competition for a win. Kyle Lohse needed one of those nights. He got it and he threw it away. Even with the run support, Lohse couldn’t put together a winning outing. A line of six innings pitched and five runs would have got the job done. Instead, he bowed out after three having surrendered seven runs. The final two came in on a home run off of Mitchell Boggs. It was a brutal night for Lohse who is trying to recover from a rough 2009 season. He and Dan Haren seemed more comfortable in the batter’s box in this crazy game than on the mound. Both had RBI singles.
No, the rotation can’t be perfect every time out, but giving up seven runs in three innings is pathetic. He knows it. The Cardinals know it. These opportunities don’t come around often, and Lohse blew it.
After making it 7-5 to bounce back, he should have been ready to fight through three more innings to keep the score that way. Lohse should have been fired up to make his teammates contributions count. He then proceeded to give up a single and a walk to end his night. It summed up a rough night in which Lohse just didn’t have it.
No, it’s not the end of the world and everyone gets lit up from time to time. It’s part of the game. But Lohse needs to find it soon. He has one good year in his career and it seems he’s closer to the 6-10 pitcher than the guy that went 15-6. He can’t let this get in his head or he will be doomed to repeat his past failures. He needs to come with an edge in his next start. He needs to put all on the line and try to win at all costs.