Lohse and the Short Start

Lohse and the Short Start

About one in every five of Kyle Lohse's starts for the St. Louis Cardinals ends before the fifth inning.

Most St. Louis Cardinals fans probably knew even prior to Kyle Lohse's 3 1/3 inning clunker against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday afternoon that he has been having trouble going deep into games. The right-hander allowed six runs on seven hits this time out and complained of forearm pain afterward.

 

Researcher Tom Orf helps us put those feelings into context by pulling the stats of Cardinals starters since the beginning of the 2006 season, with the focus on those who went fewer than four innings.

 

The data confirms the suspicion. No Cardinals pitcher has delivered more starts of four innings or less in the last 4 ¼ years than Lohse. It isn't close. Including Saturday's outing, Lohse has a dozen "short starts" compared to now-San Francisco Giant Todd Wellemeyer's eight such games.

 

As a team, the Cardinals are at two in a row after Brad Penny's aborted outing on Friday.

 

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitchers, four innings or less, 2006-current

Pitcher G W L ERA IP H ER HR BB SO
Kyle Lohse 12 0 7 11.06 42.1 81 52 7 28 25
Todd Wellemeyer 8 0 2 10.52 25.2 44 30 9 24 19
Mark Mulder 8 0 6 18.56 21.1 52 44 8 19 9
Joel Pineiro 7 0 4 11.77 26 57 34 8 5 18
Braden Looper 7 0 4 16.20 23.1 59 42 9 9 11
Brad Thompson 6 0 2 10.00 18 33 20 4 10 9
Anthony Reyes 5 0 4 19.41 10.2 24 23 11 7 8
Kip Wells 4 0 4 19.55 9.2 29 21 1 10 7
Jeff Suppan 4 0 2 18.00 13 29 26 4 13 8
Jason Marquis 4 0 4 16.39 9.1 27 17 3 7 6
Sidney Ponson 3 0 1 12.00 9 15 12 0 7 5
Mike Maroth 3 0 1 14.54 8.2 23 14 3 3 6
Chris Carpenter 3 0 1 4.91 11 15 6 1 4 6
Jeff Weaver 2 0 2 15.95 7.1 16 13 4 4 2
Adam Wainwright 2 0 1 18.90 6.2 16 14 0 6 3
Mike Parisi 2 0 1 17.55 6.2 18 13 0 7 3
P.J. Walters 1 0 0 6.75 4 6 3 0 2 7
John Smoltz 1 0 1 13.50 4 6 6 1 5 3
Troy Percival 1 0 0 0.00 1 1 0 0 0 2
Brad Penny 1 0 0 12.00 3 5 4 1 0 1
Chris Narveson 1 0 0 4.50 4 2 2 1 2 6
Randy Keisler 1 0 0 10.80 3.1 6 4 2 0 0
Mitchell Boggs 1 0 1 11.25 4 9 5 0 3 3

 

To be fair to Lohse, we also need to look at the percentage of these short starts in relation to the pitchers' entire body of work. Lohse has not been able to get beyond the fourth inning in not quite one of every five of his starting assignments as a Cardinal, 19 percent to be precise.

 

Putting aside those pitchers with just a handful of starts during that time, Lohse isn't actually the worst. He is fourth, though worst on the current active roster. The overall "honor" goes to Mike Maroth at 42.9 percent (3-of-7), followed by the end-of-the-line version of Mark Mulder at 38.1 percent and not-to-be-forgotten Sir Sidney Ponson at 23.1 percent.

 

Surprisingly, Wellemeyer came in closest to the Cardinals team average during this time at 12.5 percent.

 

Not surprisingly at all, the Cardinals three best starters, Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter and Jaime Garcia, have delivered the lowest percentage of clunkers.

 

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitchers, four innings or less as percentage of all starts, 2006-current

Pitcher <4IP GS GS %GS<4IP
Mike Parisi 2 2 100.0%
P.J. Walters 1 1 100.0%
Troy Percival 1 1 100.0%
Chris Narveson 1 1 100.0%
Mike Maroth 3 7 42.9%
Mark Mulder 8 21 38.1%
Randy Keisler 1 3 33.3%
Sidney Ponson 3 13 23.1%
Kyle Lohse 12 63 19.0%
Brad Thompson 6 32 18.8%
Kip Wells 4 26 15.4%
John Smoltz 1 7 14.3%
Anthony Reyes 5 37 13.5%
Jeff Weaver 2 15 13.3%
TEAM 87 690 12.6%
Todd Wellemeyer 8 64 12.5%
Jeff Suppan 4 32 12.5%
Jason Marquis 4 33 12.1%
Braden Looper 7 63 11.1%
Brad Penny 1 9 11.1%
Joel Pineiro 7 68 10.3%
Mitchell Boggs 1 15 6.7%
Chris Carpenter 3 73 4.1%
Adam Wainwright 2 95 2.1%
Jaime Garcia 0 9 0.0%

 

 

 

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog.

Follow Brian on Twitter.

 

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