(BaseballStL) — There is zero mystery as to what Lance Lynn’s weakness is. When he is sharp, the 27-year-old is one of the better pitchers in the NL. In fact, he leads the Cardinals in wins over the last four seasons.
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But within every start by the big righty lurks a big inning. It may be the first, or it could come midway through, but it finds him without fail. When this season began, Mike Matheny said he and his pitching staff were confident Lynn was progressing toward a more reliable starter.
“I like how his stuff looks and I think he’s a guy that just keeps getting better,” Matheny said on April 8. Since then, Lynn has allowed three or more runs in an inning twice, and has flirted with trouble a couple times, allowing two runs in a frame on two other occasions.
It’s a problem that extends back to last season, and Matheny spoke after Lynn’s last start that sometimes the pitcher will suddenly have far more movement on pitches. Tuesday, the Cardinal manager said more important than cause, Lynn needs to decipher a cure; or at least how to perform triage.
“We’ve seen it change in the sixth, where he’s been fine for five innings and all of a sudden it’s just taking off. I don’t think it’s figuring it out as much as figuring out a quick remedy,” he said before game two with the Yankees. “That’s where we are with him is trying to help him understand there’s adjustments that are going to have to happen mid-game. When you’re at pitch number 80 and all of a sudden the ball’s taking off and sailing that’s when you have to have some go-to mechanics or thought process to get it back to where it was.”
In his last outing, Lynn solved the puzzle quickly. After giving up two runs to open the game, he tossed five shutout innings while striking out five and surrendering five hits.
When Michael Wacha gave the Yankees an inch, they took a mile- and a lead. Lynn will have to either right the ship swiftly or avoid rough waters altogether if the Cards hope to pull even with New York.
Adam Wainwright was given co-Player of the Week honors along with the Dodgers’ Josh Beckett. Beckett tossed a no-hitter to edge Wainwright’s one-hitter, but shares the award with the Cardinal ace….. David Phelps, Tuesday’s starter for the Yankees, is a St. Louis product. The 27-year-old went to Hazelwood West High School, and was drafted in the 14th round in 2008.
1) Carpenter 3B
2) Wong 2B
3) Holliday LF
4) Adams 1B
5) Molina C
6) Craig RF
7) Peralta SS
8) Jay CF
9) Lynn P