Alex Presley hit Lynn’s second pitch deep to center field where Skip Schumaker, just activated from the disabled list, leaped to catch it … and crashed into the wall, then fell to the ground. Presley raced around the bases for an inside-the-park home run, while Skip left the game. (More on him in a second.) Then Jose Tabata singled, with All-Star centerfielder Andrew McCutchen coming to the plate.
But our Wolf Pup wasn’t fazed in the least. Lynn got McCutchen to ground into a fielder’s choice, then Neil Walker into a double play.
And he was extremely effective after that, allowing only two more hits while striking out four and walking one in seven innings pitched. He even had a hit of his own and scored the go-ahead run in the fifth — the very run that provided his third win of the season as the Cardinals beat the Pirates 4-1.
Lynn is now tied with Roy Halladay for the National League lead in wins, as both are 3-0. He’s allowed only 10 hits total in three games and struck out 17. Opponents are hitting only .159 against him — fifth best in the NL — and his WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) is 0.74, sixth best. As a side note. Kyle Lohse is second in both categories behind the Giants Matt Cain.
Anyway, another very successful night for Lynn — and his longest outing of the season.
Also excelling again: Mitchell Boggs. He had an efficient eighth inning, getting a ground-out and two strikeouts, before Jason Motte picked up his third save.
On offense, the Cardinals had eight hits total and were revisited by an unwelcome friend from 2011: GIDP. Both Matt Holliday and David Freese grounded into those, though each had a hit as well. Carlos Beltran had two hits plus the go-ahead RBI, while Rafael Furcal had an RBI double.
The Cards also were beneficiaries of some poor Pittsburgh defense that had four errors. One of them, on an incredibly ugly throw by Clint Barmes, allowed Yadi to end up at third base after driving in the tying run.
Daniel Descalso had an interesting evening. While batting in the top of the second, a foul ball hit him in the face and left him with a bloody nose — necessitating him to finish that at-bat (he struck out on the next pitch) and play the field with tissue sticking out of his nose. However, he made up for all that by hitting his first homer of the season in the ninth.
(In case you’re wondering and don’t already know, That Guy Who Used to Play First Base still has the same number of home runs this year that I do — which means Descalso can now be added to the list of those who have more.)
Back to Skip, Jenifer Langosch has more:
Schumaker tumbled to the ground after hitting the wall and, unable to catch his breath, didn’t get up for several seconds. The point of impact was of concern, too. It was Schumaker’s rib cage that took the brunt of the hit, the same rib cage that had been hurt when he suffered an oblique strain last month.
“I don’t think that was the debut I was looking for,” Schumaker said. “First of all, I should have caught the ball. The problem was I couldn’t breathe. Having an oblique injury, coming off of that and getting your rib cage rattled wasn’t exactly what you wanted to do.”
Knowing he shouldn’t, Schumaker lobbied to stay in the game. Manager Mike Matheny watched Schumaker make a few throws and then told him to follow him back to the dugout. Schumaker was replaced by Erik Komatsu.
Matheny was upset with himself last month when he ignored his instinct and let Schumaker finish an at-bat. One swing after Schumaker insisted he was OK, he suffered the oblique strain. Matheny wasn’t going to take any chances a second time.
The good news is Skip appears to be fine and should be cleared to play again this weekend.
In other injury news, Jon Jay also is feeling better — his right shoulder is better than expected and a trip to the disable list isn’t anticipated.
The Cards and Pirates are back in action tonight at 6:05 p.m. Central Time. (Same time as the Blues — the game will be on Fox Sports Midwest Plus.) Jake Westbrook will try to join Lance Lynn with three wins as he takes on Kevin Correia.
Also, if you don’t yet have a copy of the 2011 World Series film, you can win one! Enter our giveaway by tomorrow.
Christine Coleman is the senior St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email email@example.com. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.