It seems so often that once something becomes widely known, enough that people are looking for it, it changes or disappears. How often has ESPN or a major network cut into their programming to show a no-hitter, only to see it lost within the first couple of batters? How often does a dominant history against a team go up in smoke right as people begin to discuss it?
In the now-three starts since we began researching The Lynning, Lynn has had three straight games of two runs or less, which by necessity (since the criteria was three runs or more) means he’s avoided the big inning we spent so long talking about over that span. While the last two games were nice enough, this one was the most impressive.
For Lynn to get past the sixth in a start is a nice accomplishment, but to throw a complete game shutout? That’s outstanding. He ran up a bit of a high pitch count, which we’ll have to see if there are lingering issues from, but he did a great job all around. He had a couple of innings where you wondered if the matches he was playing with would ignite, but they never did.
Getting the complete game was huge on a day after the bullpen was used so much in a 12-inning affair. It should mean everyone is ready to go tonight, which could be important depending on which Shelby Miller shows up. All in all, there’s no doubt Lance Lynn is our Hero for the evening.
Though, to be fair, if he hadn’t gone the route, it’s possible Matt Holliday would have overtaken him for the honors. Holliday went 3-3 with two runs scored and a home run that made up the final margin. That’s his second three-hit night in the last four games and his average has risen 21 points in that span. Good to see him finally get a home run, since it’d been over a month since he’d had one. He’s going to have to pick up the pace if he wants another year of 20 bombs.
Matt Adams also had three hits, including a ground-rule double, and he both drove in and scored a run in the big fourth inning. (Usually, when you say big fourth inning in a Lynn start, it’s not a good thing. Nice to have the change this time around.) A couple of hits also by Allen Craig, who also hit one out of the park, though it was almost brought back in by Alfonso Soriano. It tipped off Soriano’s glove, otherwise we’d have seen two Cardinal homers robbed in as many days, something that the least powerful team in the NL doesn’t need to see.
There were two 0-4s last night, which is where we start the discussion of Goats. Kolten Wong had that number in the second spot, which was a shame given Holliday’s production. However, he had some incredibly good defense to mitigate his offensive woes and, as such, won’t be getting tagged today.
That leaves Jon Jay. Jay’s start produced the usual angst in the usual quarters and I did think we were beyond Mike Matheny starting Jay on a regular basis. Apparently we aren’t, which is going to get those “if Peter Bourjos isn’t going to play, why is Oscar Taveras not up here” thoughts going again. I’d hope that this was just a little break for Bourjos and we’ll see him out there tonight and going forward, but you never know what the manager is thinking in these situations.
Anyway, Jay didn’t make a strong case for him staying in the starting lineup, going 0-4, leaving three men on, and even though I missed seeing it, Twitter indicated that at least one of the Yankee doubles hit in his direction could have been caught by a more competent center fielder. Twitter says a lot of things, of course, but it seems reasonable enough to me.
The last guy to throw a shutout for the Cardinals–all the way back in the middle of last week, since his last start was a paltry eight scoreless–got some recognition yesterday as Adam Wainwright was named co-NL Player of the Week. He’d have probably had it all to himself, but when a guy throws a no-hitter, he’s going to horn in on the action.
Shelby Miller tries to bring yet another series win home for the Redbirds tonight. (I hate to tempt observer effect, but the Cards haven’t lost a series since that series in Pittsburgh since they came home for this long mainly-homestand.) He’ll need to be better than he was last time out, but Miller could easily tap into his potential and give us an outstanding outing.
Unsurprisingly, not a whole lot of history between Miller and any of the Yankee hitters. He’d have faced Soriano more if the Yankee outfielder hadn’t been traded from the Cubs last season, I guess, but that’s the way it is. So if unfamiliarity worked for Lynn, maybe it can work for Miller too.
That won’t be the case with the New York hurler. Hiroki Kuroda has spent most of his career in the National League, so he’s not as much of a cipher.
Holliday is probably looking forward to this evening, but he’s about the only one. With Bourjos having better numbers than Jay, there should be no reason to see him not in the starting lineup tonight. If Jay is in there, I give up. Hopefully we won’t have to worry about that and can send Derek Jeter (because, as you know, everything has to come back to him) out of here with a series loss!