Lynn set to start for Cardinals as rumors swirl about his future

July 30, 2017

ST. LOUIS -- After pitching six innings Tuesday night in the St. Louis Cardinals' 3-2 victory over Colorado, Lance Lynn was asked if he thought he walked off the mound for the last time in Busch Stadium.

"We're four games back," he said, referring to their deficit at the time in the National League Central. "I'm not going anywhere."

After Saturday night's 7-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Lynn (8-6, 3.21 ERA) still hadn't gone anywhere and is scheduled to start Sunday's series finale. But speculation continues that Lynn could make his next start in another uniform.

The New York Yankees are said to be very interested, especially if a potential trade for Oakland ace Sonny Gray falls through. The Los Angeles Dodgers are a possible trade partner as well, and the Houston Astros could use another starter for their postseason push.

Pitching as he has lately, Lynn would help anyone. Over his last four starts, he's given up only two runs in 25 1/3 innings, avoiding the home run ball that often colored his efforts over the year's first half.

Although he settled for a no-decision Tuesday night, Lynn limited the hard-hitting Rockies to three hits and a run in six-plus innings, walking two and fanning six.

Lynn owns a win over Arizona this year, going six innings on June 29 in a 10-4 decision. He hasn't lost to the Diamondbacks in 10 career outings (eight starts), going 4-0 with a 2.94 ERA.


Opposing Lynn will be right-hander Taijuan Walker (6-4, 3.47), who is also coming off a good performance in a no-decision on Tuesday night. Walker permitted two runs (one earned) and three hits at Chase Field in six innings against Atlanta, but the Arizona bullpen blew up in the seventh inning as the Braves notched an 8-3 victory.

This will be Walker's first career game against St. Louis (51-53), and he might be catching it at the right time. The Cardinals have managed two runs and 18 hits in the series' first three games after plating 21 runs in a series sweep of Colorado.

After starting Saturday night's game with three straight hits and a run against Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke, St. Louis went silent. It notched only two more hits for the game's remainder.

"We left a little more out there in the first, that's for sure," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "We've seen some very good pitching and all three (starters) have thrown the ball well against us in this series.

"These are the nights you've got to grind your way through. You're not going to get a lot, so when you get two guys on, you've got to make your mark."

Arizona (60-44) doesn't waste many chances to put its stamp on games offensively. Its potent middle of the order struck in the fourth inning Saturday night as Paul Goldschmidt and J.D. Martinez clubbed homers in a three-pitch span.

Ketel Marte added a two-run shot in the eighth, giving the Diamondbacks 134 homers for the year and keeping them on pace to finish with more than 200.

"Offensively, we did some things that were outstanding," manager Torey Lovullo said. "We had a nice approach; we drew seven walks."

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