Source: FanGraphs

St. Lous Cardinals, Kyle Lohse spoil Marlins Opener


As the season kicked off in 2012, Kyle Lohse out dueled Josh Johnson, yes I said Kyle Lohse out dueled Josh Johnson. The loss was a disappointing one for the Miami Marlins, but everyone needs to remember, this was just one game.

 

April 4, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Josh Johnson (55) struggles through his Opening Day start. (Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE)

 

As indicated by the leverage index, the St. Louis Cardinals grabbed control of the game early, and were never willing to let it go. David Freese singled to left field, scoring Carlos Beltran and Lance Berkman in the top of the first inning to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.

 

 

The Marlins debuted their team in front of a crowd of 36,601, the first sale out in Miami Marlins history. The stadium was absolutely gorgeous. The Marlins player introductions were awesome, although thank you ESPN for ruining Giancarlo Stanton‘s. The girls that escorted the Marlins players to the field were scorching hot.  Too bad it was not the Marlins bats did not catch any of the Heat from those girls, or from Lebron James, who put on a show, just a few miles away.

A combination of a struggling Josh Johnson and the Marlins offense going into hiding was not a good recipe for the Marlins.

 

On a side note, it was really depressing to see the great Muhammad Ali in the state of health he was. Wish him the best and will always love him. For those wondering about his Miami connection, Ali trained in Miami as a young fighter and won the heavyweight title for the first time in 1964, knocking out Sonny Liston.

 

JJ’s Rough Outing:

I think we should all remember, this was Johnson’s first major league start since last May. Yes, I know he pitched in spring training, but that is not at all the same as pitching in an actual game that counts. It will take JJ a couple of starts before he finds that flow he had last season.

Almost all of the 10 hits Johnson allowed were on balls that were left up and over the plate. In the major leagues, you are not going to get away with that too many times. Johnson also continued an annoying trend he has shown over the past few seasons. Johnson saw 19 two-strike counts and converted on only four strikeouts. His inability to finish batters off has caused high pitch counts for him in the past, thus leading to shorter outings.

 

Lohse Dominates:

The Marlins did not have many quality at-bats against Lohse. Gaby Sanchez looked completely lost at the plate against him. Lohse was able to blow away Hanley Ramirez with a low-90′s fastball. Emilio Bonifacio killed two rallies by grounding out after Jose Reyes led off the inning by getting on base.

Giancarlo Stanton did hit a couple of balls well, but unfortunately, they were caught both times. Jose Reyes went 2-for-4, providing half of the hits for the Marlins.

All in all, the Marlins did not have quality at-bats off of Lohse and made him look like Roy Halladay. The Marlins have always had a tough time with soft-tossing pitchers. They should get better offensively as the season goes on. One game is not something Marlins fans should start freaking out about.

 

Looking back at the preview:

These are the questions I asked during the preview. I have the answers after the first game in bold

 

  • Going to be interesting to see how JJ looks in his first start of the 2012 season. Is he going to have a pitch limit? Johnson threw 91 pitches, so early on, he was not put on any pitch limit.
  • Kyle Loshe is one of the best pitchers in baseball at holding runners from stealing bases. How is this going to affect Reyes and Bonifacio’s games? Will Ozzie Guillen still keep an aggressive approach on the bases. Reyes got on twice, but the timing was not right to steal. Bonifacio got on by being plunked on the foot, that affected him on base.
  • How are the Miami Marlins players going to react to being on a nationally televised game? Jose Reyes is the only Marlin regular with a lot of exposure to this. The Marlins offense was anemic and JJ struggled. Reyes did have two hits.
  • Most important question, how many times is the home run structure going to go off on opening night? How long before fans start booing home runs because of this monstrosity? Only went off once before the game. No boos were heard.

 

We have a game today at 4PM ET against the Cincinnati Reds, lets hope the Marlins can bounce back tonight! Here is the series preview.

 

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Tags: Carlos Beltran Cincinnati Reds David Freese Emilio Bonifacio Gaby Sanchez Giancarlo Stanton Hanley Ramirez Jose Reyes Josh Johnson Kyle Lohse Lance Berkman Miami Marlins Roy Halladay St. Louis Cardinals