The St. Louis Cardinals put the hurt on the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 1 of the National League Division Series, as the Bucs looked like a team that hadn’t been in the playoffs in a couple of decades and had virtually no idea what they were doing out there.
Heading into Game 2, things will get a bit easier for Pittsburgh, but it won’t be by much. That is, if the right Lance Lynn shows up for the Cardinals. While “adversity” probably isn’t the right word for it, there’s little doubt that Lynn has gone through some struggles for the Cards this season.
Lynn hasn’t been himself for much of the 2013 season. He’s let his emotions get the best of him on more than one occasion, and he’s had trouble avoiding big innings from the opposition. Which has led to some of the worst numbers of his young career, across the board.
The season for Lynn got off to a decent start, and he looked to be rounding into form for the Cards in May, when he posted a 2.77 ERA. Then things went bad. His June and July numbers were extremely mediocre, before he went on to have a poor month of August, which included an ERA up near six.
Towards the end of the year, though, Lynn appeared to figure things out, after he felt his rotation spot being threatened. His September ERA was a terrific 2.12, and he allowed only three earned runs over his final four starts of the season. That’s the Lynn the Cardinals need in the postseason.
We’ll see which one shows up for them in Game 2 of the NLDS. The Cards have a chance to put this thing away pretty quickly if they can get the right Lance Lynn on the bump. If it’s more of what we saw in the middle of the year, then it’ll be interesting to see how the Cards approach it the next time around.