ST. LOUIS (AP) — Every time former Ole Miss Rebel Lance Lynn struggled during his first year in the St. Louis Cardinals’ rotation, the right-hander insisted it had nothing to do with arm fatigue.
The 25-year-old Lynn gave up four runs on five hits in 3.2 innings in the opener of the NL championship series, squandering most of a six-run cushion — although the bullpen shut out the Giants the rest of the way. He stayed on his regular routine, throwing a bullpen session, in preparation for his Game 5 start against lefty Barry Zito tonight.
“I’m as strong as I’ve ever been all year, and the playoff start was good to get,” Lynn said Thursday. “Wish I could have done better the first one, but I’ve got a lot to learn from that one.”
Lynn said what he needs to do better is easy: “not give up four straight two-out hits in one inning.”
Lynn earned the victory in relief in Game 2 of the division series against Washington, and one more win would give him 20 for the year. He was added to the rotation when Chris Carpenter was sidelined by a shoulder injury in spring training and made the NL All-Star team, finishing at 18-7 with a 3.78 ERA.
Lynn didn’t sulk after getting demoted to the bullpen in late August and returned to win four straight starts to close out the regular season.
“You have a season like that when you’re only 24, 25, it gives you a lot to look forward to,” Lynn said. “The luxury I have is I have a Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright that will not let me not work hard to keep getting better and keep improving.” (October 19, 2012, Page 7A)