Posted on August 21, 2014 at 2:36 PM
Thursday, Aug 21 at 2:36 PM
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (BaseballStL) -- For the longest time in a Cardinals uniform, Lance Lynn has never truly been respected as a frontline starting pitcher. He’s always been, well, just kind of there taking up a spot in the rotation while the team waits for its so-called top prospects to emerge.
But a funny thing happened on the way to obscurity. Lynn pitched better than every single one of those kids. Everyone except Michael Wacha, that is.
For a guy who went consecutive years pitching well for the first 3-4 months of the regular season but then falling off the face of the Earth in August – he had a 6.66 ERA that month in 2012 and a 5.84 ERA in ’13 – Lynn was anything but consistent early on in his starting career.
He’d be just as likely to give up 8 runs in 3 innings as he was to no-hit you. The stuff was there. There’s no question he has the raw ability to be a dominant pitcher in baseball. But there would be too many days when his command would be way off and he’d get crushed.
The fastball was lacking life. He was getting predictable. And, worst of all, he was obviously fatigued from the long season.
2014 has been a revelation though. Just when you thought Lynn was a guy who’d continue to frustrate and tease by being dominant one day and awful the next, particularly when it got to August, he showed you should never truly count anyone out. Especially someone as talented as him.
The 27-year old from Marion County, Indiana actually has a 2.78 ERA at this point in the season. But most impressive is the fact he’s continued to be so good throughout his troublesome month of August. Lynn has made 4 starts this month spanning 25.2 innings. Know how many runs he’s given up in that time?
6. Just 6. And one of those was unearned. Opponents are hitting .235 against him and he’s been the model of consistency. There has been no good one day and bad the next. You almost can say you know what you’re going to get from Lynn when he pitches.
For an organization that’s losing a little bit of faith in its young starting pitchers (they traded away Joe Kelly, briefly sent Shelby Miller to the bullpen and demoted Carlos Martinez to AAA before bringing him back in the bullpen) they are in desperate need of people to step up.
Adam Wainwright is the rock. He’s the horse, the ace, the man in that rotation. But Waino needs help.
Wacha could be back in September. John Lackey’s been pretty good since coming over from Boston. Justin Masterson’s been so-so to put it mildly.
But Lynn’s been arguably better than all those guys so far.