Lance Lynn hasn’t always been the most consistent pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, but the cons are dangerously outweighing the pros at this point.
That wasn’t always the case, of course. In fact, this was a pitcher who, despite walking 3.31 batters per nine innings through his first 11 starts in 2013, still carried a very strong 2.91/1.12 ERA/WHIP going into June. Much like it had in the second half of last season, however, his performance has started to tail off — only this time, it’s happening before the All-Star break.
You might even say that’s putting it nicely.
Including Saturday’s 4.1-inning, six-run beating on 11 hits (two homers) against the lowly rival Chicago Cubs (which might sting more than the usual loss, I’d imagine), Lynn has now given up four or more runs in five of his last seven starts, with his latest loss being his shortest start since his season debut.
It goes without saying that the 6.21/1.53 ERA/WHIP he’s endured that 42-inning span makes him one of the very worst starting pitchers in baseball over the last month, and have dragged his ERA/WHIP to 4.00/1.25 on the season, a far cry from the effective (if not always so) pitcher that the Cardinals got through the first two months.
And the most frustrating thing? The two starts in his last seven that weren’t mediocre or worse were both quality starts (and wins), with Lynn allowing just three runs on 10 hits in the 13 innings combined.
With a very strong 8.83 K/9 to 1.56 BB/9 through three starts in July heading into the All-Star break, this is a better who should be better than his results indicate, but the right-hander seem to be taking Murphy’s law rather seriously these days. That all culminated in Saturday’s start, where he was either serving up meatballs (two homers) or getting BABIP’d to death: eight of his 11 hits allowed were singles … all of them on ground balls.
So maybe if you’re the Cardinals, you just have to chalk Lynn’s latest start as just one of those days.
Then again, when those days are happening more often than not over the last month-plus now, it’s likely that Lynn is going to need a little more than luck to right the ship in the second half of the season.