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Lohse Twirls 12 K Gem, Reds Win 1-0

Posted by Charlie Hustle on April 15, 2007

In what can only be described as the type of game the Reds never win, the Reds survived today thanks to the epic pitching performance from 28-year old Kyle Lohse. His 8-inning, 4-hit, 12K shutout performance enabled to the Reds to squeak by with the 1-0 victory at chilly Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Lohse, in his second season with the Reds, showed flashes of brilliance last year, having a 3.18 ERA in July and a 2.78 in August. However, Lohse reverted to his inconsistent and poor pitching ways, having a 6.46 ERA in September and finishing the 2006 campaign with a 5-10 record and a 5.83 ERA. These numbers make today’s gem shocking for most Reds fans.

However, Thom Brennaman pointed out that new Reds pitching coach Dick “Johnny Wadd” Pole had been stressing first-pitch strikes to Lohse during the offseason. According to ESPN.com’s scouting report, Lohse throws his fastball for 69% of his first pitches. However, it seemed like 100% today as Lohse got ahead in the count on almost every hitter. After doing so, Lohse used a combination of sliders and change-ups to stiffle the highly-touted and highly-paid Cubs lineup.

The reason this game was exactly the game that the Reds typically lose is because it came down to 2 old-fashioned factors: pitching and timely hitting…

Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly had another outstanding performance against the Reds, pitching 6 innings of 1-run, 2-hit, 10K baseball. However, Brandon Phillips led off the 4th inning with a walk and one of Lou Piniella’s “40-foot” curveballs from Ted Lilly got past C Michael Barrett, allowing Phillips to steal second base. Narron then actually astutely called for a hit-and-run with “veteran” Jeff Conine, who promptly hit a single, allowing Phillips to score the lone run of the game.

Pitching came into play in the 9th inning as well, when Lohse was pulled for Reds closer David Weathers after 114 pitches on the day. Weathers then immediately walked 1B Derrek Lee on 4 pitches. This is another way the Reds would typically lose this game. However, Weathers stayed calm and retired the side. When’s the last time we won a 1-0 game?

As for the announcers, it was interesting to flip between the FSN Reds battery of Brennaman-Welsh and the WGN broadcast. Lohse consistently drew strike calls on the outside of the plate, often called “down the middle” by Welsh and “a foot outside” by Cubs announcers. Brennaman carried Welsh as usual, not only noting Lohse’s change in first-strike philosophy but that the Reds could run on command while Lilly was on the mound, as he refused to go to the stretch in many instances. Meanwhile, after Lohse recorded his 10th strikeout, Welsh was rambling about his new “zero-degree turning radius” lawnmower and how he tried to get one for free from sponsors but they wouldn’t give him one. Shocking.

Great win for the Reds. Record now goes to 7-5. Next game is tomorrow at home vs. Milwaukee. Eric Milton is starting for the Reds. Hopefully he finally realizes that the slogan “Chicks Dig the Long Ball” isn’t meant for pitching.

— Charlie Hustle

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