(BaseballStL) — The season began with Lance Lynn having to prove he belonged in the rotation. After another in a string of dominant starts by the 27-year-old Monday, you’d have to wonder if he’ll ever face that question again.
In his third full season in the bigs, the burly righty appears to finally be harnessing the raw talent allotted to him and combining it with a sharpened focus.
Monday’s outing was a masterpiece.
In the roughest park for pitchers there is, Lynn tossed eight shutout innings while striking out seven and not giving up a single free pass.
After giving up one hit in the first, he retired 16 Rockies in a row. More importantly, he was economical.
He went through eight innings on just 108 pitches, throwing 68 strikes and getting seven groundouts. With the recent blow to the starting rotation and Carlos Martinez moving out of the bullpen, Cardinal relievers needed an easy night.
Lynn delivered, throwing the lion’s share of just the 23rd shutout in more than 3,000 games at Coors Field.
After all that has been made of his run support, he needed only one for the win. He got eight, as Matt Adams hit two bombs and picked up six RBIs, but it was more cathartic offensive expression than a necessity-driven rally.
He is now 8-5 on the season, and continues to be a solid presence in the middle of the St. Louis rotation. In his last six outings, he has gone through the sixth inning or later four times. Taking out his horrendous game on June 1 against the Giants, he is averaging a little more than six innings per outing.
With 40 percent of the rotation suddenly on the DL, Lynn’s role has been elevated. With Wacha down, and the very inexperienced Martinez filling in, anyone with reps under their belt is a commodity. Marco Gonzales joins the club for a Wednesday start, making the rotation even greener.
Lynn is now effectively the team’s number two starter and Monday, he pitched like it.