Lance Lynn seems to have finally turned a corner in his last start, and he returns home tonight with his St. Louis Cardinals brethren for just his second home start of the season.
Lance Lynn’s first home start this season was against the Cincinnati Reds, and he flourished, striking out 10 men in 6 innings of work, for his first quality start of the season. His last start put him in the sub-4 ERA category for the first time this season. Though Lynn has yet to string together quality starts thus far, there’s reason to believe he has stretched out and figured out his new delivery and how to use his freshly trim body the way he should.
In his first start against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team the St. Louis Cardinals face tonight, Lance Lynn got a bit roughed up, but consider the fact that it was an away start, and just his third start of the season. I’d like to take a quick look at Lynn’s breakdown of starts ahead of tonight’s matchup.
In Lance Lynn’s first start of the season, he went just 4 innings while facing the Arizona Diamondbacks. In those 4 innings, Lynn allowed 4 runs on 6 hits, with 3 walks and 3 strikeouts. Of his 94 pitches, just 53 were strikes. Certainly, this one can be chalked up to early-season nerves, and can’t really be looked at when trying to prognosticate his season stats this early on. The strike percentage certainly contributed to the 3 walks and inability to eat innings too. Lynnsanity wasn’t much more than a faint spark at that point.
In Lynn’s second start of the season, he had a 101-pitch effort against the Cincinnati Reds, his only home start thus far. Of the 101 pitches, he threw a much better percentage this time for strikes, tossing 66 of his pitches for strikes. One certainly can’t complain with the overall line either, as the St. Louis Cardinals fireballer went 6 strong innings, allowing only 4 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 10 for hist first W of the season. Other than a Brandon Phillips sacrifice fly in the 1st inning, his day was nearly spotless. Lynnsanity was back in the STL in a big way after this one!
Taking a look at Lance Lynn’s third start, a 99-pitch effort against the Pittsburgh Pirates, is a bit of a mixed bag. The only troublesome part really was a few pitches that he probably wishes he had back in the 3rd inning. One was an Andrew McCutchen double that scored Travis Snider, and the other was a Neil Walker homer scoring both he and McCutchen. His 65 pitches for strikes came out to his best strike percentage total of the season. Lynnsanity fizzled some, but still remained somewhat strong, and he received his 2nd W on the season.
In his most recent start, Lance Lynn tossed 107 pitches, 68 of them for strikes. A dazzling performance of just 1 hit allowed in 7 strong innings made me a believer in Lynnsanity once again. His 8/3 K/BB ratio for the start wasn’t half bad either. The fact that he was able to maintain his composure for 7 innings against his counterpart, Cliff Lee, and the Philadelphia Phillies’ bats is equally impressive. John Mayberry was the only one who got good wood on Lynn all day, and his leadoff double went for naught, as Ben Revere lined out; Erik Kratz flew out; and pinch-hitter Laynce Nix struck out swinging. I’d say get ready for Lynnsanity to be as effective tonight, if not moreso, with the St. Louis Cardinals taking the first game from Pittsburgh tonight.
Remember Redbirds fans, pitching is the key to success, and the St. Louis Cardinals have a wealth of it. Each and every one of the St. Louis Cardinals wins this season has been gained by a starter, and look for that trend to continue tonight. Lynnsanity is back, and the Redbirds are going to continue their roll!