April 7, 2009

Lohse establishes arsenal, Cards pound Bucs

Kyle Lohse didn't take long to settle down and settle in in his moundwork Tuesday night as the Cardinals tripled up on the Pirates score, 9-3.

The win evened up the Cards' record at 1-1, Lohse getting off to a solid start, now 1-0. Lohse was matched up against the Pirates' Ian Snell, who absorbed the loss.
Once Lohse worked through the first frame, his took command of all his pitches, spotting well with the fastball, establishing a curve, and keeping the Bucs' batsmen off balance with what appeared to be a circle change.
Lohse was definitely in much more command than his teammate, Adam Wainwright, who did really well in the season opener, but not nearly as well as Lohse, who has a history of good games versus the Pirates.

Lohse got a lot of offensive support, Albert Pujols, Chris Duncan, and Yadier Molina all hitting homers.

Game notes:

1st inning -- Lohse got off to a rocky start as the visiting Bucs' leadoff man Nyger Morgan and second hitter Freddy Sanchez singled back to back, putting men on first and second with no outs for Nate McClouth.

Both baserunners tagged up and advanced on a McClouth fly out.

Morgan tagged up and scored from third on a Ryan Doumit sac fly to right field, putting the Bucs on the board first, 1-0.

The Cardinals answered, plus-1, when, after Pujols walked, cleanup hitter Duncan homered to right field.

In his first major league at bat, Colby Rasmus grounded out.

2nd inning -- The Cards added a run after Yadier Molina surprised fans with a one-out triple. Joe Thurston pushed Yadi home with the Cards' third run with a double to right field, 3-1.

3rd inning -- After Rasmus obtained his first major league hit, a single through the hole on the right side, Pujols cranked a Snell offering over the Pirates bullpen in left center field, extending the Cardinals' lead to 5-1.

The scoring for the inning was not over yet, however. Rick Ankiel restarted the offense with a two-out single to right, was then pushed to second on a Molina walk. Thurston picked up another RBI with a single to center field, scoring Ankiel from third base.

4th inning -- More runs for the Cards, without a hint of pressure from the Bucs' offense, Lohse putting them down 1-2-3 this inning and the previous as well.

The Cardinals took advantage of a Pirates' error, an Andy LaRoche misplay on a popup. The E came with two outs. Rasmus reached on an infield single. Pujols hit a sky-high pop that LaRoche could not basket near third base. The E put Rasmus on third and Pujols on second.

Snell then walked Duncan intentionally, loading the bases in order to face Khalil Greene. The new Cards' SS responded with a double down the left field line, scoring both Rasmus and Pujols, the Cards going up 8-1.

5th inning -- Lohse cruised once more, another 1-2-3, striking out PH Moss to end the Bucs' half.

In the Cards' half, they faced Pirates' reliever Donnie Veal. Molina led off with a home run to center field.

After a couple strikeouts, Veal proceeded to walk Skip Schumaker, Rasmus, and Pujols, then struck out Duncan to end the inning.

6th inning -- The Pirates would mount a small rally versus Lohse, this time the Bucs taking advantage of a Schumaker throwing error.

Sanchez made the Cards pay for the miscue, driving a home run off of Lohse into the left field seats, the Pirates cutting the Cards' lead to 9-3.

The Cards fought back with defense, pulling off a double play; Schumaker to K-Greene to Pujols.

Sean Burnett sat down the Cardinals in is relief role.

8th inning -- TLR called new signer Dennys Reyes, who worked a scoreless inning.

Craig Hansen grounded the Cardinals, and would go on to pitch the next inning, scoreless as well.

9th inning -- Brad Thompson came on to finish the game, working the final set of outs.

Final score: Cardinals 9, Pirates 3.

Lohse would go 7 full innings in his first victory of the season. He threw 108 pitches, 70 of those for strikes. He threw 10 groundouts and 7 fly outs. He gave up 3 runs on 5 hits. Two of those runs were earned. He walked 1, struck out 4, and gave up one home run.
photo by Barbara Moore