A healthier Kyle Lohse has been one of the best pitchers in the
majors this season, but he hasn’t proved successful in recent
matchups with the Chicago Cubs.
Facing an injury-plagued Cubs lineup might help Lohse end those
struggles and earn a fourth straight win Saturday at Busch
Lohse (7-2, 2.13 ERA) has gone at least six innings in each of
his 11 outings and is 3-1 with a 1.75 ERA in his last five. The
right-hander gave up two runs and six hits over his six frames
Sunday while striking out six during a 4-3 win in Colorado.
After winning a career-best 15 games in 2008, Lohse totaled 10
victories over the last two seasons while dealing with forearm and
“It feels good to go through what I’ve gone through and come
back and feel like I’m getting that consistency I want to get out
there,” Lohse said. “Not having a start here or there you want to
forget about. I’m looking to keep it going.”
In this start, Lohse has a chance to tie for the major league
lead in wins, but he’s endured some forgettable outings against the
Cubs, including a 9-7 defeat in St. Louis on Aug. 15. He gave up
seven runs over three innings in that game and is 0-3 with an 8.07
ERA in his last seven matchups.
This time, Lohse will face a Cubs team without leading home run
hitter Alfonso Soriano, who went on the disabled list Tuesday
because of a strained left quad. A trio of .300 hitters – Marlon
Byrd (multiple facial fractures), Reed Johnson (back) and Jeff
Baker (groin) – are also on the DL, and Aramis Ramirez sat out the
series opener after getting hit in the face with a grounder
With those players missing, Chicago (23-32) had five hits in a
6-1 defeat and has hit .192 in losing six of seven. Former Cubs
infielder Ryan Theriot, meanwhile, extended his career-best hit
streak to 17 games – the longest active run in the majors.
Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman also homered as St. Louis
(34-25) avoided their longest home skid to their arch-rivals in 33
The Cardinals will try to further distance themselves from that
streak by handing the Cubs a season-high fifth straight loss and
adding to Randy Wells’ woes.
In his first start back from a strained right forearm, the St.
Louis-area native gave up five runs over four innings during a 10-0
loss to Pittsburgh last Saturday.
“I got behind a lot of hitters and ran the pitch count up,”
said Wells, who struck out seven and threw 92 pitches. “I don’t
know if it was so much rust as I was anxious to get back out there
and see how things were going.”
Wells (1-1, 5.40), however, had a 0.60 ERA while winning his
final two starts against the Cardinals last season after going 0-2
with a 10.13 ERA in his first three career matchups.
Theriot has never faced his former teammate, while Berkman and
Colby Rasmus are both 3 for 8 (.375) against the right-hander.
Pujols has one hit in eight at-bats.