By missing Jaime Garcia, the Reds may not be able to claim that the Cardinals' rotation is stacked against them this series. But Kyle Lohse has been a very close #2 to Garcia through 52.1 innings. This is something of a surprise to hear of a pitcher in his age 32 season, following two middling-to bad seasons. But Lohse appears healthy again. The good news for the Reds is that his 34-year-old foil, Bronson Arroyo, is incapable of being derailed by any mere illness or injury and appears to have the mono behind him (though his velocity has yet to return to 2010 levels).
Bronson has already shown he can succeed as a soft-tosser, mixing in an impressive array of pitches in counter-intuitive situations and arm angles. The fact that he's yet to throw a pitch at 90 mph or above this season is a little unsettling, but his K-rate is higher than his '09 and '10 levels. Fastball velocity could be a more important indicator of strength and stamina for Bronson than his ability to get hitters out. I would, however, like him to consider not throwing any pitch to Lance Berkman - holder of the all-time HR record by a visiting player at GABP - above ankle level
This should be a fun weekend. Some apprehension is justified when the Reds play a team they've only beaten a third of the time since the beginning of 2010, but this is also the first series in 2011 in which the Reds will have activated the 25-man roster they envisioned at the outset of spring training, including Scott Rolen. Only a sweep puts the team in first place, so do that.
|2011 - Bronson Arroyo||3-3||7||7||0||0||0||0||44.0||48||20||18||8||9||33||3.68||1.30|
|2011 - Kyle Lohse||4-2||8||7||1||1||0||0||52.1||35||13||13||3||10||29||2.24||.86|