April 20, 2012: Pittsburgh, PA, USA: St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn (31) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory credit: Vincent Pugliese-US PRESSWIRE

Rants Daily: Lynn’s effort lifts Cardinals over Pirates 4-1


Lance Lynn moved record to 3-0 with a seven-inning one-run performance as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-1 at PNC Park. Lynn was greeted by an Alex Presley inside-the-park home run to start off the game, but then settled down allowing only three hits the rest of the way.

The Cardinals got a scare just a couple pitches into the ballgame when Presley lifted a fly ball to dead center field. Skip Schumaker, fresh off the DL and playing in place of Jon Jay who was hurt banging into the center field wall just a day earlier, misjudged his proximity to the wall and barreled into it allowing Presley to circle the bases. Manager Mike Matheny and the training staff went out and removed Schumaker for precautionary measures.

Lynn was incredible from that point on. He only threw 88 pitches, 53 for strikes, and had a great rhythm throughout the game. He walked only one batter and struck out four. He lowered his ERA to 1.42 and became the second National League pitcher to reach 3 wins; the other is Roy Halladay.

While Lynn was dominating, the Pirates were done in by four errors. Of the four runs the Cardinals scored, only two were earned. The Redbirds got even in the second inning when Carlos Beltran reached on an error by Pirates starter Charlie Morton. Two batters later Yadier Molina doubled to bring in Beltran. The throw to the plate from Bucs’ shortstop Clint Barmes went about five feet allowing Molina to move to third, but Morton stranded him there.

In the fifth, Beltran singled in Lynn to give the Cards the lead. They would get two insurance runs in the ninth, on a solo home run by Daniel Descalso and a RBI-double from Rafael Furcal.

Mitchell Boggs struck out two batters in the eighth and Jason Motte recorded his third save working around a walk in the ninth. The Cardinals won their tenth game overall and increased their lead in the NL Central to four games as the Milwaukee Brewers lost to the Rockies 4-3.

JAY AND SCHUMAKER OK

It looks as though Jay and Schumaker will be OK after slamming into center field fences on back-to-back days. Jay was diagnosed with a sprained shoulder according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. He should be fine after a few days rest and will likely not go on the disabled list. Schumaker hit the wall in the right oblique area which was strained in Spring Training and caused his DL stint. Schumaker feels he should be ready to play today if Matheny allows him to.

TODAY’S GAME

Jake Westbrook looks to join Lynn as a three-game winner this evening when he faces off against Pittsburgh’s Kevin Correia.

 

MY TWO CENTS

For what it’s worth, Lynn has been exceptional for the Cardinals since being moved into the rotation. He has alleviated the need to entertain the market for a starting pitcher and has shown the Cardinals brass that they have a starting pitcher on their hands, not a reliever.

While it remains uncertain exactly how long Chris Carpenter will be out, if Lynn continues to perform well, it will be interesting to see what the Redbirds do once Carpenter is able to get back on the field. Having too many starting pitchers is never a dilemma, but assuming everyone else is healthy, I wouldn’t suspect the Cardinals go to a six-man rotation.

There will be many other factors to consider when and if the Cardinals have to decide on Lynn’s immediate fate. One thing is for certain, the Cardinals do not need to look far next year when writing up the rotation. Kyle Lohse is in his last season of a four-year deal and the team has an option on Westbrook for 2013 so the Redbirds will have at least one opening next year. Provided Lynn continues to perform well, he may be a part of the Cardinals rotation for years to come.

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.

 

 

 

Tags: Alex Presley Cardinals Carlos Beltran Charlie Morton Chris Carpenter Daniel Descalso Featured Jake Westbrook Jason Motte Jon Jay Kyle Lohse Lance Berkman Lance Lynn Matt Holliday Mike Matheny Mitchell Boggs Popular Rafael Furcal Roy Halladay Skip Schumaker St Louis Cardinals Yadier Molina

  • http://yardsellr.com/yardsale/John-Weitzman-124454 johnwvideo

    I agree with you on Lynn, though its still way to early to really see how he holds up !
    Compared to McClellan last year, Lynn is far better, winning with out big run support like Kyle had last season going 6-0, he gave up alot of runs which Lynn is not doing..
    It will be interesting to see what happens IF Carp even makes it back this season.. Assuming Lynn does not flame out, what do you do? You have to give the ball to Carp. They might be able to squeeze a few more starts out of him depending on how Waino is doing.. Its a good situation to be in. Worst comes to worst he goes back to being the real long man. Assuming he can readjust his brain mind set..  Now just think if they had gone out and sign Roy O. 

  • Marilyncolor

    I hope the current performance level for Lynn is sustainable.  Right now I am very impressed,
     
    I would be happy if Carpenter at least returns by the ASB, though with this type of injury at his age, you just never know.  The club tends to be more optimistic than is warranted, which is why I never take much stock in what they say.

  • http://www.redbirdrants.com/ Chris_Carelli

     @johnwvideo @Marilyncolor I’m not sure if Lynn is going to remain dominant over the course of the full season, but I suspect that he will keep the Cardinals in more games than he blows and that’s all you want from the fifth starter.
     
    If Carp makes it back, and the ASB seems like a good guess, they’ll figure out a way to keep Lynn in the rotation. Maybe they take it easy on Carp and Wainwright going down the stretch (assuming they can) and preserve them for the playoffs. Though I also think that Lynn can help out of the pen much like he did at the end of last season if everyone else is pitching well. It will be interesting to see.