LYNNsational: Lance Lynn Dominant for Red Birds

By Craig Phelps

St. Louis, Mo – Please pardon the horrible use of the overused alteration of such a tasteful word in the title of this article.  The success of the NBA’s Jermey Lynn and the resulting “LYNNsainty” seems to still be having a wide affect despite his demise in the latter part of the season.  He’s managed to ruin such an impactful word as “sensational” and is now passing the title to the St. Louis Cardinals temporary starting pitcher, Lance Lynn.

Sensational; ponder upon this word for a second.  Let your thought dwell into its meaning; sensational.  To be sensational is to be great, neah, it is to be exceptionally great.  To be sensational is to reach above your perceived shortcomings and simply dominate in an astonishing fashion.  To be sensational is to truly stand out in one’s craft.

Has Lance Lynn not done this through his first four starts of the year?  Has he not proven himself worthy of the “LYNNsational” title?

The young right hander is the only Red Bird starter to have recorded a positive note in each of his starts with four victories in as many games.  Kyle Lohse and Jamie Garcia are both also undefeated, 3-0 & 2-0 respectively, but Lohse did not receive a decision in a 2-1 St. Louis victory over the Reds on April 17th while Garcia did receive blame in a 3-4 loss to the Reds on April 11th or a 2-3 loss to the Cubs on April 23rd.

Lynn has managed to acquire a team high 24 strikeouts in the second most innings by a pitcher this season; Lynn has pitched 27 innings while Lohse edges him out by a third of a frame.  With an earned run average of 1.33 and a .176 batting average by opponents, the 25 year old Brownsburg, Indiana native has proven himself a worthy replacement to the injured Chris Carpenter.

The key to Lynn’s success has been his high strikeout rate.  The ball has been placed in the defense’s hands just 27 percent of the time with him on the mound compared to 29 percent of the time with Wainwright, 33 percent with Lohse, 35 percent with Westbrook, and a team high 37 percent with Garcia; the league average for the ball being put in play is 30 percent.

That lowly .176 and high “K” rate has come via a strikeout looking just 25 percent of the time.  He has struck out batters on just three pitches five times this season and has forced the second most double plays on the team; Garcia has forced eight while Lynn has forced four.  The rare batter that does reach base against this “LYNNsational” pitcher only reaches extra bases 31 percent of the time; the league average is 33 percent.

Despite only having a grand total of six career starts at the Major League level under his belt, Lynn has a dominating presence on the mound that appears to give his team an extra boost at the plate.  He is receiving the second most run support on the team (5.91) behind only Jamie Garcia (6.94) this season.  If hard work and winning are contagious then the reason for the excess of runs can be easily explained.

Lynn averages the second most innings per start on the team at 6.8, Westbrook averages 6.9.  He is not afraid of being sore the next day from hurling too many pitches.  Lynn has reached the century mark in two of his starts and averages 97 pitches per outing.

It may not be easy to fill the shoes of a Cy Young caliber pitcher, but Lance Lynn appears to have the support of Cardinal Nation fans and players behind him as he is off to this sensational start.

At just 24 years of age, he will turn 25 on May 12th, and only 22 games into his Major League career Lynn holds a lot of promise.  It would not be an unreasonable deceleration to state that this is just the start of the “LYNNsational” iceberg.

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