Over his five starts in June, Lance Lynn has been mostly the excellent pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals that he was for two months of the 2013 season.
However, mostly just isn’t quite cutting it these days.
That’ll seem like a weird thing to say considering that he’s 3-1 over the month and has only lost twice this season, but W-L records aside, I think it’s generally agreeable that a 4.83/1.26 ERA/WHIP for the month isn’t exactly the best indicator of future success, especially considering that he had an ace-like 2.76/.1.09 split after the first start of the month (7.0 IP, five hits, one run).
Since then, however, it’s been an inauspicious trip towards — gasp — mediocrity for the right-hander.
Take his start on Wednesday against the Houston Astros, for example. While the four earn runs on four walks and five hits through 7.2 innings might not necessarily suggest dominance, that’s exactly what Lynn was … for most of his latest turn.
Most of his turn, however, doesn’t take away a poor fourth inning where he allowed four of those hits and two of the free passes, good enough to result in the four runs that ultimately handed the 26-year-old his first loss in June.
Lynn wasn’t in trouble before the knockout inning, and he wasn’t in trouble after. If only he could have avoided that slip in consistency that took place between his 6.2 innings of one-hit, two-walk scoreless ball, he might be looking at another 4-0 month and his second quality start in a row.
Instead, he’s allowed at least four earned runs in three out of his last four turns, made four straight starts with at least two walks, and someone who is mostly difficult to hit (.229 BAA), but is being hit harder than he was earlier in 2013 (season-high 25.8 line drive rate in June).
Sure, the wins will likely keep coming for Lynn because he happens to pitch for Cardinals, who can turn seven-run outings from pitchers into wins as they did for him two turns ago; that said, mediocrity is a very slippery slope, and those inconsistent innings will have to be reeled in before mostly good takes a turn for the worst down the stretch.