It did rain overnight and sporadically throughout the morning, but by game time the skies had cleared and Lohse was on the mound at Maryvale Baseball Park to work against the Dodgers, a welcome bit of normalcy. This time last year, he was still throwing bullpen sessions at the Fischer Institute, a workout and physical therapy facility in South Phoenix, "dodging guys that were getting ready for the NFL combine." He later pitched simulated games against the likes of Grand Canyon University and Scottsdale Community College.
On Saturday, Lohse threw 21 of his 28 pitches for strikes in two scoreless innings against Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig and the Dodgers.
"I would have liked to get a few more ground balls," said Lohse, who recorded five of his six outs in the air. "One of them was decently hit, but otherwise I was on the edges of the strike zone, throwing strikes. They didn't really square anything up."
He was particularly fond of his sequence against Puig, who looked at a curveball for a strike, pulled an inside sinker fair and then hit a changeup for an easy flyout to left field in the first inning.
"We're not throwing [as if it were] completely a game situation," Lohse said. "But talking to 'Luc' [catcher Jonathan Lucroy], we were going to mix it up, have fun and throw strikes, try to set the tone. I told one of the young guys, 'That's what happens if you go out there and throw strikes and you don't fall behind. More than likely, that's the result you are going to get.'"
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.