St. Louis Cardinals: Birds Sweep Braves at Brand New Ballpark

May 7, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Tommy Pham (28) reacts with team mates after defeating the Atlanta Braves in fourteen innings at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
May 7, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Tommy Pham (28) reacts with team mates after defeating the Atlanta Braves in fourteen innings at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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St. Louis Cardinals
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Starting Pitchers (2-0, 19 IP, 12 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 6 BB, 14 K, 2.37 ERA, 1.06 WHIP)

The St. Louis Cardinals’ starters continued to be very good, and this time it was the 3-4-5 pitchers in the rotation that set the tone for the team’s three victories. Lance Lynn and Mike Leake both improved to 4-1 on the year, and Michael Wacha, though he earned a no decision, left his start with the Cardinals in the lead.

Lance Lynn: W (4-1), 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 95 pitches (56 strikes)

Lynn’s sixth start of the season was his fourth consecutive quality start, and also his fourth consecutive win. He’s allowed just two runs in twenty-five innings pitched over that period of time. His earned run average is down to 2.04, third best in the National League.

His start Friday night was his second of the season in which he did not allow a run, and opposing teams are hitting just .205 against him this year. It doesn’t appear Lynn has missed a beat so far this season in his return from Tommy-John surgery. At the same time, he’s eclipsed the 100-pitch mark just twice this season. Both of those starts he threw 101 pitches.

Mike Leake: W (4-1), 7 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 91 pitches (61 strikes)

Leake continued his sterling beginning to the season, pitching into the seventh inning for the fourth time in six starts. He allowed just one hit through his first six innings of work, and the three-run home run he served up to Adonis Garcia in the seventh was the first time he’s been taken deep all year.

His fourth victory tied Lynn for the team lead, and his earned run average, which rose to the highest mark it’s been at all year at 1.79, is second best in the National League. Leake and Lynn have been the Cardinals’ best two starters through the first six cycles in the rotation.

Michael Wacha: ND, 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 83 pitches (53 strikes)

Wacha and Leake are the only Cardinals starters to pitch at least six innings in all six of their starts this season. Wacha’s third consecutive no-decision Sunday was his fourth quality start of the year. He exited with his team in the lead 4-2, but the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead and he missed the opportunity to earn his third win of 2017.