Two outstanding Native players, two very different starts to the 2012 Major League Baseball season.
When the St. Louis Cardinals take the field tonight in Cincinnati at Great American Ball Park, Kyle Lohse, Nomlaki Wintum will try to continue his strong start to the season after his opening day gem. Lohse flirted with a no-hitter into the 7th inning against the Miami Marlins, eventually ending his day against with the win, allowing just two hits and a run in his 7 1/3 innings pitched. The 33-year old Lohse is pitching against his former team — he played for the Reds during the 2006-2007 season, between his time with the Minnesota Twins and Philadelphia Phillies. Lohse has come into his own with the Cardinals, leading them in their victorious World Series season last year in both wins and ERA.
Meanwhile, Jacoby Ellsbury, Navajo and member of the Colorado River Indian Tribe, coming off arguably one of the greatest seasons for a leadoff hitter in baseball history, is having a rougher start to the season, as is his team, the Boston Red Sox. Although Ellsbury played welll in Boston’s 11th inning loss to the Detroit Tigers two nights ago, notching two hits (his first hits of the season, including a double) and an RBI, the stellar center fielder has had a tough start. He’s batting .118, with only one RBI and zero stolen bases. The Red Sox are struggling mightily, too, recently been swept by the Tigers and standing at 1-3. They finally won their first game last night, rallying in the ninth inning to top the Blue Jays, 4-2. Ellsbury, however, went 0-4.
It’s very early in the season, obviously, and Ellsbury has battled back from injury and battled through adversity before.