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Cardinals vs. Pirates, 11 July 2008

Kyle Lohse and Zach Duke, 7:05.

Yesterday while I was exercising I was thinking about who the comeback players of the year would be. Just one of those dumb things you think about when you're doing something mundane. I came up with Mike Mussina--last night's opposing starter--for the AL. But I couldn't think of anyone for the NL. Jason Bay, Scott Olsen or Brian Giles might be among the best choices--or maybe Brad Lidge. But the best I could come with on the treadmill was "somebody who pitches for the Cardinals." (Bay, for some reason, totally escaped me.)

Tonight's starter Lohse might be the guy, but then it's unclear to me whether "comeback player" means you have to have been good at one point and then stunk and then come back, or whether you can just skip that first step where you're good. If it's the latter, Lohse might be a popular pick--he has a terrific 10-2 record, which I'm sure the voters will care about even if I don't, and he has a sparkling 3.61 ERA that's easily the best in his career. His 4.5 strikeouts per nine suggests he's going to come back to earth somewhat, but he could be the usual Lohse the rest of the year and still have his best season since 2002.