ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- He doesn’t seem to get the respect around baseball that he deserves, but Kyle Lohse has established himself as the ace of the Cardinals pitching staff.
Adam Wainwright has a couple of Cy Young worthy seasons in his past, but he is struggling right now and didn’t pitch at all last year after having Tommy John surgery. Chris Carpenter hasn’t pitched at all this season and might spend the entire year on the disabled list. Lance Lynn got off to a great start and was selected to the All Star team, but Lynn has looked very shaky in his last three appearances and needs to prove himself more before he can be considered "ace" material.
That leaves Lohse as the top guy. He goes about his business in a low key fashion. He’s never had the one huge season where he made a big name for himself. In fact, Lohse is barely a .500 pitcher (110-108) over the course of his 12-year Major League career. But at this point in time, Kyle Lohse is the Cardinals ace.
He was the best starting pitcher on the staff last year when he went 14-8 with a 3.39 era. Carpenter was clearly the horse of the rotation over the past two months, but Lohse put the up the best numbers of any of the Cardinals starters in their World Series-winning season. He had the most wins, lowest era and most strikeouts of any of the pitchers in the rotation. It’s happening again this year. Lohse is now 8-2 and could easily have another two or three victories if he’d gotten better run support. His ERA of 2.80 is second best in the National League among pitchers who have made at least 17 starts. Lohse could make a great argument for being an All-Star this season, but as usual, he seemed to be just an afterthought among those who cast ballots for the National League team.
He’s not an afterthought for Mike Matheny. Kyle Lohse is now the best pitcher in the Cardinals organization.