Rare Air: Lynn dazzles as Cardinals blank Rockies at Coors Field

Lance Lynn put together one of the best outings of his career. 

David Zalubowski/AP

Lance Lynn, smile a little bit.

You should after pitching eight shutout innings at Coors Field on Monday night.

You absolutely should after pitching them the day after the Cardinals’ rotation lost two starters to the disabled list.

At a time when the Cardinals needed a starter not named Adam Wainwright to step up and deliver the team some good news, Lynn came through with a gem by pitching the Cardinals to an 8-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

Working quickly and throwing hard, Lynn worked six three-up, three-down innings, allowed only three hits (all singles), struck out seven and walked none. He also lowered his ERA to 2.90, recorded his eighth win and just might have put his name into consideration for a spot on the NL All-Star team. 


The Cardinals moved to seven games over .500, equaling their season-high mark, recorded their 15th shutout and got off to a strong start on a daunting 10-game trip through the NL West.

Given the hitter-friendly conditions in Denver and the blow his team had been dealt 24 hours earlier, the outing was Lynn’s best of the season and perhaps his career. That includes his first career complete game, a five-hit shutout of the Yankees on May 27, and a 1-0, eight-inning shutdown of the Nationals on June 13. 

While Lynn indeed could be seen smiling in the clubhouse on the FOX Sports Midwest postgame show, he downplayed the impact his start could have on a depleted rotation.

"It’s a team," he said. "Everyone is going to have to pick up some slack. Right now, we’re going to have to find another arm for the fifth spot and we’ve got some guys who are very capable of doing that. For the four of us here right now, we’re going to do everything we can to be successful and to go deep into games."

3 UP

— Matt Adams. He said last week he is doing a better job of staying off low pitches to wait for a pitch up in the zone to drive. Check out his home run in the fifth inning. Adams fouled off three fastballs before he got one up and in that he lined into the right-field seats for his sixth homer. Adams had an even bigger homer in the seventh, a three-run blast that was his first of the season off a lefty. Add a two-run single in the third, when he shot a grounder past the second baseman when the Rockies were playing the infield in, and Adams finished with a career-best six RBI. He also raised his batting average to .328, third best in the NL.

— Leadoff walks. Four times, the first Cardinals batter of an inning was issued a free pass or hit by a pitch. Three times, that first batter came around to score. Overall, Rockies pitchers walked or hit seven Cardinals and five times, they resulted in runs.

— Jon Jay. The Rockies are scheduled to start a lefty, Jorge De La Rosa, on Tuesday night so Matheny might give right-handed Peter Bourjos a start in center field. But don’t hold your breath. The way Jay is playing, Matheny barely can afford not to have him on the field. Jay made his biggest contribution to this win on defense, making a sliding catch just in front of the fence to take a hit away from Justin Morneau. Jay also walked and scored in the fourth.


— Four- and five-hole hitters. Cleanup hitter Allen Craig and No. 5 hitter Yadier Molina were the only Cardinals in the lineup who didn’t have a hit or score a run. Both went 0 for 4, a first for Craig at Coors Field but not for Molina. He is 0 for his last 10 at the majors’ most hitter-friendly ballpark.

— Tyler Lyons. Healthy again, he had a chance to be called back up, but a rough start at Salt Lake City last week might have cost him. Instead, the Cardinals will turn to Colorado native and 2013 first-round draft pick Marco Gonzales to start the series finale Wednesday afternoon.

— Shutouts at Coors Field. In the 37th game of the season at the home of the Rockies, there was a rarity: The Rockies were shut out. Colorado was blanked at home only once in all of 2013, and that was pitched by Clayton Kershaw. In 40 games at Busch Stadium this season, there have been nine shutouts, six of them turned in by the Cardinals.

You can follow Stan McNeal on Twitter at @StanMcNeal or email him at stanmcneal@gmail.com.