Lohse began tinkering with his curveball when he resumed throwing this offseason, settling on a curve that didn't incorporate as much of an arc. He continued throwing it in his spring bullpen sessions and then utilized the pitch with success in his first Grapefruit League start.
But progress with the pitch didn't really continue, leading Lohse back to his original curveball. When he went back to the old grip, Lohse was in for a pleasant surprise.
"It was sharper and better than I remembered," Lohse said. "I guess putting it in timeout for a while made it act right. That other one I just really couldn't get to work. It just didn't feel as comfortable in a game as it did playing catch all the way up until Spring Training."
Lohse threw some effective curveballs in his five-inning start on Wednesday, though his larger focus was with his changeup. He wanted to throw several inside changeups to right-handed hitters to see how they responded. He also approached the outing hopeful of seeing better fastball command. That, Lohse said, is still a work in progress.
"I'm making good pitches with [the fastball]," Lohse said, "but I'm still missing in spots that I don't like."
One of those missed fastballs was served up to Chris Johnson, who sent it over the fence for his second spring home run. That was the only run Lohse allowed in the game. Lohse, who threw just 34 of his 69 pitches for strikes, has given up four spring homers.