LOUIS – Much
like Chris Carpenter two nights before, Kyle Lohse needed a start like he had
Saturday afternoon to give him positive vibes going into the
But Lohse didn’t just need a good outing. After missing three
months with arm surgery and struggling since he returned, Lohse desperately
needed something positive for him to take with him heading into next
That sure happened Saturday as Lohse tossed seven shutout innings
in his best start in more than a year as the Cardinals eked out a 1-0 win in 12
innings over the Colorado Rockies at Busch Stadium.
Lohse didn’t earn the
win but he pitched well enough to deserve it. The right-hander allowed just
three hits and struck out five, dueling Colorado ace Ubaldo Jimenez pitch for
“The only way it would have been better had been if he was the
winning pitcher,” said manager Tony La Russa. “He made so many great pitches.
That’s exactly what I told him when I shook his hand at the end. I said ‘perfect
way to finish. Go into the off season feeling good.’”
Unlike several of
his starts this year, Lohse didn’t cave when he got in trouble. The right-hander
used double-play balls to get out of jams in the first and second innings and
got out of a first and second, nobody out jam in the fifth.
something good to happen Saturday. It did.
“I wish I would have had more
like that but it definitely feels good having an outing like that,” Lohse said.
“I’ll take that into the offseason as a positive and come back ready next
“I changed a couple things mechanically in my wind up and I just
wanted to tinker around and see what things I can mess with and take into the
offseason and work on and improve, so it was a good way to go out. I felt good
Lohse missed a large part of the 2009 season while dealing with a
forearm issue stemming from an incident last May when he was hit on the forearm
by a pitch by the Royals’ Ron Mahay. He missed much of the year but returned
late in the season and thought rest would make him completely healthy coming
But Lohse soon realized that wasn’t the case, and had surgery
May 28 to fix the issue in his forearm. He returned in August and struggled to
find any consistency. But he pitched Sunday like the Cardinals hope he will
pitch next season, giving him and the team a sense of relief going
“That’s all the difference in the world,” La Russa said. “The
difference between working out to get in good shape and maintain it versus
rehabbing. Hopefully he will be a lot like Carp. Carp spent a couple of winters
just trying to get healthy and that’s a much tougher off day than if you just go
to the gym to get yourself ready. He’s in great position. We’re excited
Lohse finishes the 2010 season with a 4-8 record and a 6.55
ERA. But Saturday’s outing has him thinking big things for 2011.
my year has gone, yes,” Lohse said. “It’s been frustrating to start the year off
not being 100 percent and then sitting out all that time and not being able to
help the team like I wanted to. It felt good to finish on a good positive note.
It’s good. It kind of eases your mind going into next year, being able think
about that instead of all the other stuff.”
The Cardinals will play their
final game of the season on Sunday when Jeff Suppan makes the start at 1:15
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