(BaseballStL) — Offense was at a premium at Busch Friday, as the Cardinals and Marlins each had one inning of success, buttressed by frustration and bad luck.
Lance Lynn deftly handled Miami early, surrendering only five hits through the first 18 outs, one of which was a dubious decision by the official scorer.
More importantly, he denied the Marlins any runs, allowing the sluggish St. Louis offense time to get going.
“We mixed in the curveball early in the game to get right back to the fastball,” Lynn said. Tonight I had a really good sinker, when I have that we’re going to use it.”
His sinker led to seven ground balls, and kept the Marlins hitters off balance to the tune of six strikeouts.
It was a necessary rebound after lasting just two innings in San Francisco in his previous start. Reports cited a blister on his pitching hand that caused him some trouble, though Lynn clarified Friday night that is was a bit more complicated than that.
“The problem is I still have a blister. The last time it wasn’t a blister, I lost the top of my finger,” he said. “I lost the callus that I’ve had over time. Tonight it was the blister to start the callus over again.”
He compared the situation to when a hitter loses the calluses on the pads of their hands. When that tough skin is removed, it’s painful to swing. For a pitcher, the pressure of the ball on the raw skin while using certain grips causes pain, affecting the release of the pitch.
“The blister is easy to deal with, when you lose the callus that’s not fun,” Lynn said. He explained that he’s always had blisters due to pitching, and tonight’s situation was a familiar one.
Now, with a fresh blister, he can begin the process of rebuilding his lost callus. He explained the steps for the uninitiated (read: anyone who isn’t a professional pitcher) at his locker.
“You don’t pop it. If you pop it, that’s when you’re going to run into some trouble,” he said, referring to when a blister develops during a game. “Tomorrow we’ll see what it looks looks like when I wake up and we’ll probably pop it tomorrow and start the process over again.”
All epidermal dissection aside, Lynn’s outing was his fifth in six starts in which he surrendered two runs or less. It was the 12th time this season he’s done so, though only the seventh time he’s gotten the win.
Friday the Cardinals waited until the sixth to get on the board, posting three runs on four hits and a wild pitch. It would barely be enough, as Trevor Rosenthal had an adventurous ninth, but Lynn did earn his ninth win. The victory kept the Cardinals a game and a half in front of the Pirates, who Lynn has a date with on Wednesday July 9.