Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/26/13
People can say what they want about Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn. Too slow. Too emotional. Too many pitches. And sometimes they’ve been right. But the fact remains that only one National League pitcher his teammate Adam Wainwright has more than the 12 victories credited to Lynn. And Wainwright has just one more. “Hopefully I can catch him” said Lynn. After an inauspicious start Thursday night — and really a rollercoaster first four innings in which Lynn’s pitch count multiplied like rabbits — Lynn finished strongly. The burly Indiana native held the Philadelphia Phillies to one run and five hits over seven innings as the Cardinals completed a three-game sweep with a 3-1 victory marking the first time in 12 years they had swept a series from the Phillies at any of the Busch stadia. A third consecutive sellout crowd of 45567 observed as the Cardinals 25 games over .500 after 99 games moved 2½ games clear of second-place Pittsburgh for their biggest National League Central Division lead since June 21. Lynn who tossed 118 pitches had his defense to thank in the forms of right fielder Shane Robinson first baseman Matt Adams third baseman David Freese and second baseman Matt Carpenter. But Lynn participated too creating the game’s most important defensive moment in the fifth inning when he fielded a poor bunt and starting an ending-inning double play when the Phillies had the tying runs on base. In fact Lynn who probably has received few votes for the Gold Glove started three double plays snatching a first-inning liner and deflecting a seventh-inning grounder to initiate the other twin killings. “I made some plays that I don’t know that I’ve made before tonight” he said. Cardinals late-inning relievers Trevor Rosental and Edward Mujica each tossed a scoreless inning with Mujica recording his 30th save (in 32 chances) a significant achievement since he didn’t get his first until April 18. Lynn who had allowed 17 hits and 10 runs over 91/3 innings in his previous two starts is 12-5 now and 30-12 over the last two seasons. “That means I’ve got a pretty darned good team around me for the last two years” Lynn said. Though his pitch total was his second highest of the season Lynn was ahead in most counts throwing 80 strikes most of them fastballs. “Early on I hadn’t had that kind of stuff for a while so I had to hone it in” Lynn said. Asked from where that “stuff” had returned he laughed and said “From the grave I guess.” The murmurs at Busch were audible in the first inning when Lynn whose last start was a disaster on several fronts allowed a double and a walk to the first two hitters he faced. Lynn steadied himself fanning Chase Utley. Then he protected himself snaring Delmon Young’s liner at the belt and throwing to first to end the inning unscathed. Manager Mike Matheny said “He could have got frustrated and let things snowball but he didn’t.” The Cardinals did nothing for two innings with Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick who long has had a stranglehold on them with a 5-1 career won-loss mark.
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