(BaseballStL) -- At the age of 26, Lance Lynn is becoming a reliable force from the starting rotation for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Lynn may not have been awarded the win in a 5-3 comeback win over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday, but he did win the trust of his manager.
Down 2-1 in the top of the seventh inning, Lynn was close to getting pulled after the Royals were threatening to add to their lead. An Alex Gordon two-out double and a single from Alex Alcides drew a walk from the dugout by Lynn’s manager, Mike Matheny.
Lynn was one batter away from pitching a full seven innings, but most importantly limiting the Royals’ chance to add more runs.
“He had me talked into it by the time I got to the line,” Matheny said. “I could see his face and I knew he was good to go. I already caught Yadi’s eye and they had faith in his stuff at that point.
“I needed to give him a breath, but I also wanted to go out there and just see how he would respond. I was ready to go to the bullpen.”
Matheny left him in the game to face Lorenzo Cain, who had put the Royals ahead with a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning. Cain would end up lining out to Carlos Beltran for the final out of the inning.
“He has the confidence in me right there,” Lynn said. “That’s a good thing. That’s what you strive for during the season, throughout your career is for your manager to know you have the guts to get it done. He gave me that opportunity tonight.”
Lynn has already proved himself to the Cardinals, but he has been a quiet story around the league. He leads all active pitchers (minimum 30 games started) in winning percentage at .743 and his 25 combined wins dating back to last year is tops in the majors.
Don’t let it fool you. It wasn’t a perfect game from Lynn on Wednesday.
“Lance was good,” Matheny said. “I know he’s pretty frustrated with the one run he gave up. For the most part I think he did a great job.”
That one run was scored when the opposing pitcher, Luis Mendoza, tallied his first career hit which went for an RBI single and a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning.
This season, Lynn is 7-1 with a 2.91 ERA in 11 starts.