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PostCards: Lance Lynn talks before World Series Game 3


St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn, who will start in Game 4, spoke to the media prior to World Series Game 3 against the Boston Red Sox.
October 15, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn (31) pitches the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game four of the National League Championship Series baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Image Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Q. Last season you threw a lot more sliders or excuse me, you threw a lot more curveballs and change‑ups last year. This year it’s fewer of those and a lot more sliders. Given the success you had last year, why the change in approach?

LANCE LYNN: I don’t know if it’s a change of approach. It’s been one of those things that it was a new pitch we really worked on in Spring Training, and it seemed to have a lot of success early on in the season. And the way things go, you kind of ‑‑ once you get a feel for something and start rolling with it, you don’t really like to change as the year goes on. And that’s something Yadi and I have talked about. And it’s something that we just kept rolling with because we had a lot of confidence in it.

Q. How much as a young pitcher is there a bit of a give and take between trying to blow away hitters with your fastball and being efficient with your pitch count? And with the Red Sox being a team that likes to work counts and put balls into play, how does that factor into the equation?

LANCE LYNN: Well, the only thing that matters is throwing quality strikes. If you’re able to do that with these hitters, and most hitters in the Major League, you’re not going to be able to blow the ball by anybody, unless you have stuff like Rosenthal and Martinez. They have an easier time blowing by people.

But it’s about making pitches. And if you’re able to make pitches where you want to and change speeds on them, you should be all right. But they’re a good team. You’ve seen the first two games with the two guys we’ve ran out there, and they’ve had high pitch counts, and those are guys that have been known to throw a lot of strikes and have low pitch counts. It should be an interesting game.

Q. I’m just curious, for you and Joe, Mike had talked about you’re still developing as pitchers. I’m curious if the nature of where you are in your careers, has allowed you to do so? Maybe a little less in the spotlight with a lot of the younger guys coming up behind and whether it’s been easier to evolve like that when you guys have so much support on the pitching staff, as well?

LANCE LYNN: Yeah, every year you try to evolve. The guys that are just now getting here, no one knows about, they’re going to have to learn how to evolve, too. That’s just part of the game. Joe and I have been here the last two years, and have been through ‑‑ it’s our second playoffs together, my third. People learn things about you and you have to learn how to be better and maybe even ‑‑ or even things that you’re good at, be better at those.

And that’s just part of the process of pitching. Adam went through it and he’s been able to help us through it. Carp went through it and he’s been able to help us through it. It’s the process of becoming who you’re going to be. You’re going to have a lot of success early on until they figure you out. Then you’ll have to learn, even though they know what you’re doing, have to still know how to get them out.

Q. David Ortiz has been red hot. How do you go about pitching to David?

LANCE LYNN: Not giving him anything to drive out of the ballpark would be a start. He’s hitting the ball really well. You want to make sure you don’t let him beat you. They have a lot of guys that can do a lot of damage. But I’m okay with him not ‑‑ not giving him anything to hit, especially anything to drive out of the ballpark. My game plan is not to let him get anything up in the air, and do anything like that and make him hit my pitch at all times. And I have to walk him, I’m going to walk him.

Q. How do you handle the extra rest that’s built into the postseason schedule? And also the second part of the question, as a guy that’s both relieved and started in each of the last two postseasons, have you talked to Shelby about ways to stay sharp, given this kind of schedule?

LANCE LYNN: The rest‑wise, this is the first time in my life I’ve thrown over 200 innings during the regular season. I’m okay with it, especially this time of year. That’s nice. I’ve been able to do things in between starts. And being in the bullpen and throwing bullpens and flat grounds, and things like that, you’re able to work on things that you need to do to be ready. The rest, most of the time, just helps. You’re not going to know until you get out there and see how sharp you are, and things like that are. But body‑wise, I feel really good.

With Shelby, I’ve been in his shoes. I’ve been talking to him, trying to make sure that mentally he’s still in. And he is. And he knows what kind of stuff he has and how good he is. And I know he’s disappointed that he hasn’t been able to pitch that much in the playoffs. But at any time he’s going to get his chance and he’s going to be ready to go.

Q. Even though you are still a young pitcher, you mentioned this is your third postseason. Is it fun to see some of the other guys, Wacha and other guys, watch them and have this kind of success?

LANCE LYNN: Yeah, it brings me back when ‑‑ my first year. It’s a fun time. Guys are getting to live their childhood dreams right now. And I’ve been lucky to live it two out of the last three. I’ve been very fortunate, and to see those guys, even though they are kids, technically, I guess, which is weird for me to say that, since I’m not that much older than them, but it’s fun to see the excitement on their face. And it makes you realize how special this is. And it gives the team a little jolt, too. You’ve got a bunch of young guys that love to play the game that are really excited.

Q. Kind of along those lines, I think the number is up to 17 homegrown players on this World Series roster. You’re one of the guys who dates all the way back to Batavia in Class A. There’s about ten of you that go back that far. What does it speak to this organization, the way they develop players? What does it mean to you to go through the Minor Leagues with a bunch of guys and get all the way to this level with the same bunch of guys?

LANCE LYNN: It shows that either we’ve got some people that are really smart or they’ve had really good luck, maybe both. Because it’s hard to believe that with I think the ’07, ’08 and ’09 and now, in the last five or six drafts that you’ve had that many really good players. That’s being really good at what you do or really smart or really lucky. And it’s good to have both. And I think we have both of those in our front office, guys that know what they’re doing, and they see the character that the guys that are here had when they were coming out of high school or college. And you get guys that are able to learn and want to learn and that’s the kind of group we have.

And I actually didn’t come up with any of these guys. They were all ahead of me or behind me. I was kind of the in‑between guy between the two of them. But I was able to play with a couple of them in Triple‑A. You could see there they were going to be really good. They were just waiting for their time. And that’s how it works. You wait for your time and you always try to get better. And that’s the process that has been preached to us down there, and it seems to be working.

Q. Because you’ve pitched in so many postseason games, does the run up to these big games start to feel normal? Do you want it to feel normal?

LANCE LYNN: If you can say a run up to a World Series feels normal, that’s a good thing to have, I guess. Not many people get to say that, I guess. But it’s never going to feel normal; it’s a World Series. You’re getting a chance to start in the World Series, against the best team from the American League. You’re excited. Got a little bit of nerves. But when it’s all said and done, you’ve been doing it all year and you have to take it as another start and be the best prepared for it as you can. And once you go through your pregame stuff, it’s all business after that.