GAME 63: Lynncinerator
For once Lance Lynn didn’t have 17 runs of support, but it didn’t matter. Sasquatch mowed through the White Sox, throwing a no-hitter through three innings en route to an incredibly dominant 1-0 victory.
ALL STAR CALIBER: With just a few weeks to go, can there be any doubt that Lance Lynn deserves a consideration for the mid-season classic? Lynn has completely transformed from a minor bullpen prospect into the best starter in the National League. Lynn’s curve was unhittable tonight, as evidenced by the TWELVE strikeouts in more than seven innings. Lynn’s masterwork was a strikeout of the side after a leadoff triple in the fifth. No question about it – Lynn needs to be the opening starter for the All Star Game this year.
STAT HEAD: Lynn became the first Cardinal to reach ten wins at this point in the season since Darryl Kile in 2000.
ALL ALONE: When Carlos Beltran hit his league-leading 19th home run in the second, my first thought was about the rest of the team. How long can Beltran continue to carry this team by himself? While the offense sputters impotently, Beltran keeps producing with that smooth, perfect swing. It won’t last forever. Somebody else needs to step up and help him out.
SUNDAYS PAST: How weird was it to hear the voice of Jay Randolph doing play-by-play on the broadcast? I was instantly transported back to those Sunday afternoon games with Randolph mispronouncing players’ names and talking about golf instead of the action on the field. Even with his evident flaws, Randolph might still be better than the current broadcast team.
HURRY BACK, JAY: I generally think Sugar Shane Robinson has done okay as a replacement for Jon Jay. Sure, he’s cooled off considerably after a hot start. He’s also been adequate in the outfield. But there are moments when Robinson takes a bad route and then misses the cutoff man like he did tonight (turning an out at third into a triple) that I really miss our jug-eared center fielder. Hopefully his shoulder reassembles soon.
GOTTA HAVE FAITH: I was happily surprised that Matheny left Lynn in the game when his lineup spot came up in the seventh. At that point Lynn had thrown 105 pitches, and you just know TLR would’ve pulled him for Trever Miller or some bullshit. But Matheny showed some faith in his young, strong hurler, and it paid off handsomely.
D FOR DEFENSE: Everyone at Busch Stadium braced for impact when Matheny brought Marc Rzepczynski in to pitch to Adam Dunn with a runner on and one out. Dunn had crushed a long homer off of Zeppo just the previous night, and Zeppo has looked generally awful lately anyway. Dunn slashed a grounder to second, and Daniel Descalso dove to his right to snare it and start a double play. Not only did it save Lynn’s win, but it alsos saved Zeppo’s wilting confidence. Hopefully this is a bend in the road.
FURCED: Rafael Furcal has been in a well-chronicled slide; he’s hitting under .200 this month, and has scored just four runs. Why isn’t he trying some of his bunt-hit magic, where he slaps the ball over the infield? I’d like to see him stop swinging for the fences and just smack the ball.
SCARY NINTH: Jason Motte, armed with a 97 mph fastball and his filthy hat, came in to preserve Lynn’s masterpiece. The White Sox got a bad hop hit when Furcal couldn’t make the play at short, and a bunt put the runner into scoring position. Then a grounder was knocked down by Furcal, but no play left runners at first and third and one out. SCARY. But miraculous a double play ended the game with a big finish!
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Are you kidding? I just wish I could give it to Lynn twice (um, what?)
CONCLUSION: It’s nice to have wins with brilliant pitching. However, how many 1-0 games will this team win? The offensive troubles continued tonight, and we’re just fortunate that Lynn was better than Jake Peavy. If we dont’ start scoring runs soon, we’re going to find ourselves buried at the bottom of a terrible division.