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Pleading the 5th

By J. Owen

Every fifth day Cardinal’s fans have to squeeze their stress balls and hope the birds can hit 2 grand slams. Watching Lohse struggle through 3 innings giving up 7 runs brought back bad memories. I don’t know how many times we had to watch Mark Mulder step on the mound and lose. The topic of Mulder makes me cringe, or want to bang my head against a wall.

I am now starting to feel the same way about Kyle Lohse, especially when I am reminded of his contract. After going 15-6 with us in 2008 we decided to extend his contract for four years and 41 million dollars. An interesting deal for a one time 15 game winner who had only been below the 4.00 ERA mark once in his career. But in this day and age one career year gets you the big paycheck. But really he only had a career first half. He went 11-2 in the first half of the season with a 3.3 ERA. He went 4-4 in the second half, which is at least better than his career winning percentage.

So what do we do the next time the 5th spot is due to pitch? We are in a division race and really cannot afford to lose at this point. In my opinion Lohse is a near guarantee for a loss. He is 1-5 this year with an ERA flirting with 7. His one win was against the Nationals. As a starter Blake Hawksworth is 3-3. He has only given up more runs than innings pitched on one occasion, something Lohse makes a habit of. He perhaps has the most upside considering he is the youngest and could be a crucial part of our bullpen come October, for now the 5th spot in the rotation is crucial. Jeff Suppan is perhaps the most deserving of the spot just considering his history with this team. He hasn’t allowed more runs than innings pitched in any starts with us this year, and gives us the best chance to win of the three. However he is on the DL for now so what do Tony and Dunc do? I do not know how I could logically send Kyle Lohse out to make a start for the Cardinals right now. Every game counts and any game Lohse starts could be counted as a loss. I would much rather see Lohse’s 40 million dollar arm in AAA, where hopefully he can keep the ball and his ERA down. Call Salas back up, where he should be anyway, and give the Hawk another chance to be a starter.

What ever happened to Brad Penny? To that question, the Cardinals will plead the fifth.

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