Kyle Lohse (1-4, 3.49 ERA, 3.89 FIP) will already get his third start against his former team. So far, the status on whether he's a saboteur is still in question. I think the Cardinals are only calling on him to lose games to them when they feel threatened.
His first start came early in the season, when the Brewers were 2-6. The team seemed to be no great shakes, and the Cardinals had just beaten the Brewers the night before. Thus, Lohse was able to maintain his cover and have a good start, allowing just two runs in seven innings.
However, his next start came on May 3, when the Brewers were hovering around .500? What was the team going to do? Were they going to get hot and go on another big winning streak? The Cardinals couldn't have that, but it wasn't so important as to completely tank the start, so Lohse allowed four earned runs in five innings. Not enough to raise any suspicions, but enough to lose the game.
Based on where the Brewers are at now, I'm expecting a no hitter.
Lohse has faced four Cardinals hitters at least ten times over their careers. Here is how they have fared:
John Gast (1-0, 6.00 ERA, 4.70 FIP) made his major league debut against the Mets after taking the rotation spot of the injured Jake Westbrook. He ended up pitching six innings, allowing all four of his earned runs in the final frame he threw. He also ended up throwing just 71 pitches.
Gast hasn't been that great in the minors. He had a nice professional debut season in 2010, but his 2011 was mediocre. He started great in Double-A last year but got bumped up to Triple-A and struggled for the rest of the season. He had been putting up great numbers in Triple-A this year.
By all rights, Gast shouldn't be a special pitcher. He should be someone a powerful Brewers' lineup could hit. They won't, of course, but they should. A mediocre rookie pitcher? The bane of the Brewers' existence. A Cardinals pitcher? Well, he'll probably have a Cy Young season soon enough. Based on this perfect storm, I'm expecting a no hitter.
Gast has, of course, never faced a Brewers' hitter ten times.
In the Bullpen:
- John Axford pitched 1.1 innings (33 pitches) last night and also pitched Friday.
- Mike Gonzalez pitched to one batter (5 pitches) last night and also pitched Friday.
- Burke Badenhop pitched .1 innings (4 pitches) last night and also pitched Friday.
- Brandon Kintzler pitched 1.2 innings (17 pitches) last night.
- Jim Henderson pitched one inning (10 pitches) last night.
- Mike Fiers pitched 1.2 innings (24 pitches) Thursday.
- Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (15 pitches) Thursday.
- Alfredo Figaro pitched .1 innings (16 pitches) Thursday.