Rants Daily: Cardinals take series from Brewers behind Lynn

Lance Lynn has never viewed himself as a replacement player. He feels he has the ability to be a major contributor to this team as a starter. His chance arose due to an injury to Chris Carpenter, but the Cardinals feel they have a long term commodity on their hands with Lynn. He showed why in a 9-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers yesterday.

Apr 8, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn (31) pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers in the first innings at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Lynn threw 100 pitches in 6.2 innings. He allowed only one run on two hits and walked one. He struck out eight batters. He worked four shutout innings before surrendering a home run to hot-hitting Corey Hart. Hart hit three homers in the series. Lynn didn’t let the homer get into his head. He struck out the next four batters he faced.

Lynn was backed by a Cardinals attack that featured four regular starters out of the lineup. The offense didn’t miss a beat. Rafael Furcal remained red hot with another three hits. Carlos Beltran also had three hits including his second home run of the season while batting in the cleanup spot yesterday. With some of the regulars getting an off day the lineup had a new look to it.

Tyler Greene got his first start of the season at second base. He hit second and went 1-for-4. Shane Robinson homered among his three hits. He also drove in three runs. Matt Carpenter filled in for Lance Berkman and Tony Cruz caught his first game of the season.

Mitchell Boggs allowed a run in 1.1 innings and Jason Motte let up a home run to reigning NL MVP Ryan Braun in a non-save situation.

TODAY’S GAME

Jake Westbrook will go against the Cincinnati Reds this evening at Great American Ballpark. He’ll face off against Homer Bailey.

Westbrook hasn’t pitched in nine days so his performance, especially early on, could be erratic. Westbrook tossed a long bullpen session on Tuesday knowing he would not be on the mound for a game until today. It’s too bad that he had to go this long between starts as Westbrook was enjoying a very good spring. It would have been nice for him to be able to continue on regular rest considering the groove he was in.

Brandon Phillips (6-for-14) and Scott Rolen (4-for-10) have given Westbrook some trouble in the past. Chris Heisey has taken Westbrook deep three times in six at-bats.

We may see some more hits from Rafael Furcal who is 5-for-12 lifetime against Bailey. Matt Holliday also gives Bailey issues with a .400 AVG with a homer in 15 at-bats.

ON THE FARM
  • Shelby Miller allowed four earned runs in his Triple-A (Memphis Redbirds) debut. He lasted only three innings and threw 63 pitches.
  • Memphis first baseman Matt Adams has three home runs already.
  • Trevor Rosenthal tossed four innings of two-run ball (one earned) in his first start with Double-A Springfield.
MY TWO CENTS

For what it’s worth, that was a very nice series victory for the Cardinals. They came into one of their top division rivals’ home and took two of three games. The game they lost, they ran into a terrific pitching performance from Zack Greinke, but still in that game the Cardinals came away with a positive. In the three games the Cardinals racked up 36 hits. They scored a total of 20 runs even though they were shut out in one game . Their starters allowed a combined 5 earned runs in 18.1 innings.

I mentioned going into the series that it was important for the Cardinals to get off to a good start. Indeed they did. They won games with offense and pitching. Adam Wainwright pitched into the sixth inning in his return and we saw flashes of his old self. Unfortunately, the Cardinals did not provide any run support that day, but it was great to see Wainwright pitch effectively and well enough to earn a win had it been either of the other two days.

They cannot let up off the pedal as they travel to Cincinnati. The Cards got a tough draw to begin the season, but are poised to make the most of it. If they can grab a couple games from the Reds, they will be 5-2 after a tough schedule. The wins now go a long way in showing other teams that while they may have a different structure, the team is still very potent in all facets of the game.

You can ‘Like’ Redbird Rants on Facebook here. You can follow Redbird Rants on Twitter at @FSRedbirdRants and Chris Carelli on Twitter at @Chris_Carelli.

Topics: Brandon Phillips, Cardinals, Carlos Beltran, Chris Carpenter, Corey Hart, Homer Bailey, Jake Westbrook, Jason Motte, Lance Berkman, Lance Lynn, Matt Holliday, Milwaukee Brewers, Mitchell Boggs, NL Central, Rafael Furcal, Scott Rolen, St Louis Cardinals, Tyler Greene, Yadier Molina

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