With rumors circling of his potentially imminent departure to numerous, better teams, Lance Lynn came out and did what he always does. He pelted the top of the Diamondbacks’ lineup with fastballs, and somehow made it work. He got Peralta to pop out to LF on the the first pitch, got Owings to fline out to SS, allowed a clean single to LF to Lamb, and got Goldschmidt to ground out to SS. All told, his potentially last 1st inning took just 9 pitches.
Matt Carpenter and Harrison Bader battled Taijuan Walker to full counts, but ultimately struck out swinging at an elevated fastball, and grounded out to SS. Paul DeJong worked a 4-pitch walk (!!!), but Jedd Gyorko turned an outside fastball into a 5-3 putout. Contrasting starkly with his opponent, Walker’s 4-batter inning required 20 pitches.
Lynn pummeled J.D. Martinez with inside fastballs, but lost the 9-pitch battle on ball 4. Ketel Marte, building on yesterday’s success, followed with a double to RCF. Chris Iannetta then lifted a sac fly to CF. After making the catch, Bader correctly decided to throw to 3B, but botched the execution and airmailed the throw, allowing Marte to advance a base. Lynn then walked Gregor Blanco, struck out Walker, walked Peralta, and walked pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso to score a run. Lynn recovered to get Lamb to pop out in foul territory. The stressful, 8-batter inning bumped Lynn’s pitch count up to 47. 2-0 Diamondbacks.
Jose Martinez knocked a clean single up the middle, but Molina struck out swinging, Wong flew out to CF, and Grichuk struck out looking. Walker was at 39 pitches.
Determined to get his game back on track, Lynn got Goldschmidt to fly out to CF, allowed an infield single to Martinez, got Marte to pop out to RF, and struck out Chris Iannetta. His pitch count was at 60.
The Cardinals continued their listless ways in the 3rd. After LHB Lynn struck out and Carpenter walked, Bader flew out to LF and DeJong struck out swinging. He was now at 56 pitches.
Blanco led off with a single through the left side. Lynn then managed to pick him off, but lost him in the pickle when he failed to cover 1B. Walker then bunted him to second base and Peralta walked, but Lynn recovered to get Descalso to pop out to 2B and Lamb to pop out to RF. Lynn was at 78 pitches.
The offense finally awoke in the 4th. After Gyorko struck out, Molina squirted a single to CF. He would advance on a passed ball, which proved to be inconsequential because Jose Martinez followed with a 2-run homer to RF. Wong and Grichuk struck out to end the inning. Walker was also at 78 pitches. 2-2 Tie.
Still battling his command a bit, Lynn recorded his first clean inning since the 1st. He got Goldschmidt to pop out down the RF line, Martinez to fly out to LF, and Marte to pop out to 1B on his 96th pitch.
Despite his elevated pitch count, Lynn batted for himself and was rung up a third time. Carpenter followed with a ground out to 2B, and Bader struck out. Walker was at 89 pitches.
Against all odds, Lynn finally seemed to find himself in the 6th. Flashing 93-94mph heat, he struck out Iannetta, and got Blanco & Walker to each ground out to 1B. He was now at 107 pitches, and his afternoon was complete, to minimal fanfare.
Marte made a good play fighting the sun to retire DeJong on his flare to short LF to start the bottom half. Gyorko then drew a full-count walk, an advanced to third on Molina’s single to LCF. Jose Martinez cashed him in with a sac fly to deep RF, to put Lynn in line for his 70th career win. Wong then ducked a snort into short LCF on Walker’s 108th pitch and knocked him from the game. The hard-throwing Jake Barrett relieved Walker, and struck out Grichuk. 3-2 Cardinals.
Tyler Lyons succeeded Lynn. He got Peralta to pop out to SS to start the frame, but Descalso then doubled off the tip of Grichuk’s glove in RF. Lyons battled back to strike out Lamb and end his afternoon. Matheny tapped Matt Bowman to counter the RHB Goldschmidt, who worked a full count but ultimately grounded out to 3B.
Andrew Chafin relieved Barrett. With his second pitch, he shattered pinch-hitter Tommy Pham’s bat to retire him on a 4-3 ground out. Carpenter then hooked a double down the RF line, but Bader struck out, DeJong managed a second walk (!!!), and Gyorko flew out to CF to end the threat.
Seung Hwan Oh relieved Bowman. The embattled righty struck out Martinez, got Marte to ground out to 1B, and struck out Iannetta. Big inning for the deposed Cardinal closer.
Archie Bradley relieved Chafin. He got Molina to fly out to RF, Martinez to strike out looking, and Wong to ground out on a come-backer.
Trevor Rosenthal closed it out out, and the Diamondbacks didn’t really have a chance. He got Blanco to strike it swinging at a change up, AJ Pollock to strike out looking at a fastball away, and David Peralta to swing through an elevated fastball. Cardinals win 3-2.
Lance Lynn: 6.0IP, 2ER, 4H, 3K, 5BB, 55 GSc
Taijuan Walker: 5.2IP, 3ER, 4H, 10K, 3BB, 55 GSc
- Today was Christian Day at Busch Stadium. It was also Rick Horton’s birthday.
- Chris Owings tried dropping down a 2-out, bases loaded bunt in the second, but took an inside fastball off his right hand and had to leave the game, replaced by Daniel Descalso.
- Lance Berkman joined Dan McLaughlin in the booth in the top of the 3rd inning. He talked about Craig Biggio, the 2011 Cardinals, Game 6, his unlikely Hall of Fame chances, finishing his degree in Kinesiology, and coaching high school baseball with Andy Pettitte.
- Yadier Molina is now 12th all-time in Cardinal hits. He’s 20 behind Ted Simmons, and 42 behind Jim Bottomley.
- “[This team’s] inconsistency is what gets me frustrated. I think I’m going to have a stroke at an early age with all of this. I’m serious. I want to win.” -Tommy Pham to Jim Hayes
- Lance Lynn is up to 876 Cardinal strike-outs, 23 short of Larry Jackson for 10th place.