Kyle Lohse probably isn't going to the playoffs this season, but maybe he can help keep his former teammates from getting in too.
Tonight at 7:10 Lohse (3.17 ERA, 4.13 FIP) will make his 26th start of the season as a Brewer. He was very good last time out, holding the Reds to two runs (one earned) on five hits over seven innings. Unfortunately, he was rewarded with a loss for that effort. The four walks he issued in that game were the most he's allowed since mid-May.
Lohse's low strikeout rate (5.9 per nine innings) is one of the reasons why his FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) is significantly higher than his ERA. That's frequently an indication that a pitcher's performance will regress over the long term, but Lohse has had a significant gap between his ERA and FIP in each of the last three seasons so it may not be an issue here.
This is the fourth time Lohse has faced his former team this season. He's posted a 5.00 ERA over the previous three starts, and the Brewers have lost all three games. Three current Cardinals have faced him ten times or more:
He'll face 26-year-old righty Lance Lynn (3.89 ERA, 3.16 FIP) in his 26th start of the season. Lynn received a no-decision in his last start against the Pirates on Thursday, allowing four runs on eight hits over 5.1 innings. He has a 4.57 ERA over his last ten starts.
Counting six postseason games Lynn threw 187 innings a year ago, after throwing just 109 in 2011. His velocity remains relatively steady, though, sitting in the low-to-mid 90's with a fastball he'll throw over 70% of the time. He also has a slider, curve and occasional changeup.
The Brewers gave Lynn a no-decision in their only other 2013 meeting on May 18, scoring four runs off him on eight hits over five innings. The only active Brewer who's seen him ten times or more is Aramis Ramirez, who is hitting .111/.200/.111 in ten plate appearances.
As of this writing tonight's Brewer lineup has not been posted. If you've seen it, please drop it in the comments.
And in the bullpen:
- Burke Badenhop pitched 1.1 innings (22 pitches) last night, and also pitched multiple innings on Sunday.
- Rob Wooten pitched one inning (16 pitches) last night.
- Brandon Kintzler pitched .2 innings (31 pitches) last night.
- Tyler Thornburg pitched 1.2 innings (47 pitches) on Sunday.
- Michael Gonzalez pitched one inning (eleven pitches) on Sunday.
- Jim Henderson last pitched on Saturday.
- John Axford last pitched on Friday.
It's going to be a beautiful night for baseball tonight with a game-time temperature around 80 under sunny skies. The wind should be blowing from right to left.