By Josh Kramer
How many of my Cincinnati Reds fans out there remember Kyle Lohse? Most of you have probably erased the memory by this point. The journeyman starting pitcher spent about one year in Cincinnati (half of 2006 and half of 2007). He went 9 and 17 with a 4.58 ERA.
Lohse has not had a lousy career, but has been mediocre at best. Now in his 12th season in the big leagues, the starting pitcher from Chico, California has a career record of 107 and 107, with a less than stellar 4.58 ERA. Therefore, his sub-par performance in Cincinnati was no fluke. In 2012, he miraculously has turned into a All-Star caliber player and dare I say a Cy Young candidate? Yes, let me repeat that. Kylse Lohse is not a frontrunner, but a definite contender for the National League Cy Young Award.
Derek Lilliquist (Cardinals pitching coach) has put something in the water in St. Louis. Can we give some of that water to Homer Bailey, Mat Latos, and Mike Leake please?
Many expected St. Louis to be satisfied with a .500 record in 2012. When a team loses arguably the best manager and best player of our generation, expectations typically go down. Not only do the Cardinals possess the best record in the National League (tied with LA), their offense is ranked number one, despite the absence of Mr. Pujols. But as you are all well-aware, offense is fun to watch and will get a team some victories. Pitching wins championships though.
Enter the three-headed monster that is Lance Lynn, Jake Westbrook, and Kyle Lohse. Lynn is a phenomenal story in his own right. Guy had two starts at the Major League level before 2012. He currently leads the National League in wins and is third in ERA. Jake Westbrook has had a mediocre career similar to Lohse in which he has posted an 89 and 86 record to go with a 4.27 ERA. Westbrook has never won more than 15 games in a season (that could change this year). Today though, we focus on former Red, Kyle Lohse. Currently, Lohse ranks second in the National League in wins, and 11th in ERA. Remember, this is a guy who has a career 4.58 ERA and has gone under .500 in terms of record in seven of his eleven seasons in the Major Leagues.
I would love to have Josh Hamilton back in Cincinnati as much as the next guy. We knew he possessed god-like talent. But this recent Kyle Lohse emergence has me befuddled. Lohse was awful during his time in Cincinnati. Now he is starring for our biggest rival? Go figure. Baseball is a funny game. I do know one thing. Lohse is not so lousy these days.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.