Greenwood leaves mark with Matheny, Lynn leaves mark on league

Greenwood leaves mark with Matheny, Lynn leaves mark on league

Credit: Getty Images

DENVER, CO - JUNE 24: Relief pitcher Nick Greenwood #62 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 24, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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by JJ Bailey / BaseballStL | @TheJJBailey

KMOV.com

Posted on July 23, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 8 at 2:25 PM

(BaseballStL) — Nick Greenwood’s locker may be empty, but his presence is still being felt by Mike Matheny. The Cardinal manager spoke highly of the lefty reliever Wednesday, saying he was sincerely impressed by the 26-year-old’s stay in St. Louis.

“I don’t want this to be said I didn’t have any confidence when I looked out there and saw Nick Greenwood,” Matheny said. “I had a lot of confidence that if we’re going to burn through our guys and we get to the end and we’re locked horns and going to extra innings, I got a guy here that’s going to go a long ways and he’s going to keep us in this game.”

Kevin Siegrist is back in the pen after more than 50 games on the DL and Carlos Martinez recently rejoined the relief staff, making Greenwood the odd man out.  

He threw in nine games for the Cardinals, striking out 10 and walking four en route to a 4.74 ERA. Though the numbers don’t paint a picture of dominance, Greenwood’s value was in being a life preserver when the boat began taking on water. 

“The conversation we had with him was, ‘Nick, you gotta realize what you did. It wasn’t just coming in and just filling a spot. You bailed us out of some huge predicaments, you really impressed us,’” Matheny said. 

He’ll almost certainly be a September call up if he doesn’t rejoin the team before that. The Cardinal skipper said he will head to Memphis and be worked into several different roles in the hopes of maximizing his versatility. 

No Debate, Lynn Is Great

Though it’s getting harder to ignore Lance Lynn, there are still plenty who don’t consider him among the league’s best. His 11 wins trail only four pitchers in all of baseball. He’s in the top 20 in the NL for ERA, top 25 for innings pitched and top 15 for strikeouts. He’s one of only six pitchers to make at least 20 starts and win 11 or more in the past three seasons. The others are Adam Wainwright, Max Scherzer, Zack Greinke, Madison Bumgarner and Felix Hernandez. 

Before the cries about run support start, that argument won’t fly this season. Lynn is averaging 3.7 runs of support per start, 37th in the NL. In fact, each of those six pitchers have averaged more. Lynn is the only one on the list getting less than four runs of support. Wainwright is at 4.25.

“I don’t know if it’s the mental approach as much as it’s just maturity. That comes with age, it comes with experience,” Matheny said of Lynn’s strong season. “That’s the definition of wisdom, he’s becoming more aware of himself. What he needs to do, what’s working, what’s not.”

Lineup

1) Matt Carpenter 3B

2) Kolten Wong 2B

3) Matt Holliday LF

4) Matt Adams 1B

5) Jhonny Peralta SS

6) Oscar Taveras RF

7) Jon Jay CF

8) Tony Cruz C

9) Lance Lynn P

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