Posted at 10:26 PM on May 16, 2006
by Josh Lee
I got home late from work, and turned on the radio as Kyle Lohse pitched to Carlos Guillen in the bottom of the 3rd. Many, many pitches later, Guillen walked to first, loading the bases up for Chris Shelton. And many, many, many pitches later, Shelton lined a double out to center, scoring three runs and bringing Ron Gardenhire out to send Lohse off to the dugout in search of a strike pitch.
We can only wonder what Joe Mauer and the Twins' infielders said to Lohse in the many, many meetings they held on the mound during these two at-bats. Maybe they talked strategy, trying to come up with a scheme to pick off an unwary runner; maybe they tried to keep Lohse calm, soothing him with promises of warm milk and cookies if he could just throw an ever-lovin' strike; maybe they tried to motivate him with fear, reminding him that he was already on thin ice and that he was never one of Gardy's favorites. Whatever it was that they said, it didn't work, and now Lohse's ERA is ballooning faster than the national debt.
The big problem now is that with Francisco "Safety Valve" Liriano taking over Carlos Silva's spot in the rotation, we're left with a conundrum wrapped in a riddle wrapped in a headcase. Does anyone have any ideas of where the Twins can go from here? Bonser? Durbin? Bueller?
Lohse has an ERA of almost 9.00. At this point, almost anyone, including Torii Hunter or Michael Cuddyer, would be a better option for starting pitcher. My preference would be Bonser, but whatever they do, they have to get Lohse out of the rotation.
My vote is for Matt Garza, last year's first-round pick who played college ball and is quickly escalating through the minors.