Kyle Lohse delivered a spectacular season for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012, posting a 16-3 record with a 2.86 ERA in 33 starts. After the season the 34-year old right hander couldn’t agree to terms with the Cardinals and defected to Milwaukee via free agency. Lohse is set to return to Busch Stadium for the first time since signing with the Brewers in March and will get the start in the series opener against the Cardinals.
Lohse’s return will undoubtedly be overshadowed by the tributes to Stan “The Man” Musial, who will be honored with Stan Musial harmonica night tonight. However, The Cardinals can’t just brush off this meeting with their former comrade. Lohse is 30-17 with a 3.40 ERA in 73 career starts at Busch. He has also fared well against the Cardinals in his career, posting a 2-2 record with a 3.34 ERA in five career starts against St. Louis. His last start against the Cardinals was on June 7, 2007, when he hurled 8.1 innings of one-run ball in a 5-1 victory for the Cincinnati Reds.
You can expect Lohse to go deep in the game if he has success early as the rest of the Milwaukee pitching staff has had a terrible start to the 2013 campaign. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke has already had to remove John Axford from his role as closer and the staff, as a whole, has a 5.47 ERA.
Cards Offense Has Had Limited Success Against Lohse
Most of the players who will be in the Cardinals line up tonight have never faced Lohse. There are, however, three Redbirds who have had success against the righty in the past. Carlos Beltran leads the group, with a .564 average, 4 home runs and 12 RBI in 39 career at bats against Lohse. Ty Wigginton, the biggest surprise of the bunch, has 8 hits and 1 RBI in 18 career plate appearances against Lohse. Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina are the only other players who have faced Lohse. They are a combined 7-for 13 with 2 RBI and a strikeout.
Big Arms Will Be On Display Over The Weekend
After Lohse, Cardinal hitters will deal with the other two pitchers at the top of the Brewers rotation. Yovani Gallardo will get the ball on Saturday and Marco Estrada will pitch in Sunday’s series finale.
Shelby Miller starts tonight’s game for St. Louis. Adam Wainwright will make his first home start of the season on Saturday and Jaime Garcia will look to improve to 2-0 on the season when he makes his 3rd start of the year on Sunday.