Brewers mull Lohse's rotation status after loss

Starter has has trouble getting on track this season

Brewers mull Lohse's rotation status after loss

MILWAUKEE -- The thought surrounding Brewers starter Kyle Lohse over the past few months was that if the veteran right-hander could get back on track after his poor start to the season, the club would be able to deal him by the Trade Deadline.

Lohse wasn't able to change that assumption, as his ERA stayed above 6.00, and the free agent-to-be remained with the rebuilding Brewers. On Sunday, his first start since the deadline, the struggles continued in Milwaukee's 4-3 loss to the Cubs.

Lohse managed just 4 1/3 innings in what would be his third-shortest outing of the season. Chicago pelted Lohse with four runs on nine hits, giving the Brewers their fifth loss in his last five starts.

"He was in a lot of trouble all day," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "There was trouble pretty much every inning and it was big trouble. He struggled today and we need better from him."

"They just hit a lot of balls down, off the end of the bat," Lohse said. "Maybe I could've pitched in a little more, but really that's the style I've been going. You just keep trying to make good pitches. You figure law of averages will even out, where a couple of them go at people instead of finding holes."

Even with the Trade Deadline having passed, Lohse's future in the starting rotation isn't set in stone after another disappointing start.

"We have to discuss that in the next few days," Counsell said of Lohse's status within the rotation.

The difficult season continues to confuse Lohse himself, a 15-year veteran who garnered votes for the Cy Young Award for his 2012 season with the Cardinals. His ERA is nearly two runs higher than his career average of 4.37.

"I think we've had this discussion about 10 other times," Lohse said of what's not working for him. "It's frustrating. I'm going into every start with the same mentality I've always had. I'm going to be aggressive.

"The only thing I can do is pitch in a little bit more. I've been around a while. Had some good and some bad [seasons]. I have to just keep going."

Lohse's woes are coinciding with the team's, as the Brewers are just 2-8 over their last 10 games after Sunday's defeat.

"We need to get performance out of everybody." Counsell said. "Everybody is accountable for performance. Kyle will be the first to tell you that he needs to pitch better."

Brandon Curry is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.