Taking on Justin Verlander is a tough assignment for anyone. For Lance Lynn, so was the Tigers’ lineup.
Last night, whether it was the pressure from the hype surrounding the pitching matchup, or simply an off night, our flame-throwing Wolf Pup looked unusually over-matched. It took 50 pitches to get through two innings, and things didn’t get much better from there — for Lynn, or the offense facing a mostly-sharp Verlander.
Here’s how Jenifer Langosch described it:
Lynn threw first-pitch strikes to just 14 of 25 batters he faced, largely the result of untamed fastball movement. The Tigers were aggressive early, when Lynn was too often over the plate. Detroit then found success in being patient late, driving Lynn’s pitch count up as he labored.
The Tigers scored more runs off Lynn on Tuesday than opponents had combined for in Lynn’s other three June starts.
Verlander, on the other hand, was mostly what he usually is, though with a few more walks than is the norm. With a four-pitch mix, he limited the Cardinals to two hits through the first six innings. St. Louis finally scratched across one in the sixth, when Matt Holliday drove Daniel Descalso home with a groundout. Descalso and Carlos Beltran had knocked singles earlier in the inning.
The Cards had their chance in the seventh inning, where they scored two runs on an error by Detroit’s left fielder Quintin Berry. Then, with the bases loaded and the tying run at first base, Verlander got Craig to strike out swinging (albeit on a nasty slider that Verlander called his best ever), leaving the bases loaded yet again. For you keeping track, the Cardinals are now 10-for-52 on the year with the bases loaded.
Just a base hit would have kept the inning alive and the rally in tact. But alas …
So what’s the deal? There are only so many ways for Mike Shannon and John Rooney to tell KMOX listeners that the Cardinals are just not playing very good ball right now. (And there are only so many ways for us to write the same thing afterwards!) Continue reading