ST. LOUIS — If the St. Louis Cardinals are hoping for a hot hand to get them a Game 2 victory in their National League Division Series, there's no better alternative than Lance Lynn.
Lynn comes into the 12:07 p.m. start on the heels of his hottest stretch of the season: In his last four starts in September, he was 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA.
"Physically and mentally, it's a long season," said Lynn, 26, who was 15-10 with a 3.97 ERA in a career-high 33 starts this season. "But to be able to come in on a high note in the playoffs. ... The team's been playing well, too, so that's good for all of us.
"To have that kind of confidence going in, it's going to be exciting to see what we're capable of."
Lynn said there's no secret to his success, not with MVP candidate Yadier Molina behind the plate.
"It's pretty simple. Every time you go out, the mound's 60 feet, 6 inches away, and that's all you worry about," Lynn said. "(And) throwing the ball to Yadi.
"When you've got one of the best catchers in the game, it's pretty simple. You look at him, he puts the sign down and you throw it where you're told."
Lynn, the most experienced Cardinal starter after Game 1 hurler Adam Wainwright, said he won't be fazed by the playoff atmosphere Friday afternoon at Busch.
"It's not my first-ever playoff experience, so it's not anything new, I guess," said Lynn, who was 2-2 with a 3.86 ERA in 11 postseason appearances in 2011-12. "You're playing against a team we faced a lot this year, so it's not going to be all that different. It's just more people watching and more media afterwards."
The Pittsburgh Game 2 starter, meanwhile, will be Gerrit Cole, 10-7 with a 3.22 ERA in 19 starts this year.
"It's going to be unbelievable," said Cole, 23, a rookie right-hander making his first postseason appearance. "You're in enemy territory. The place is going to be loud. It's going to be rocking.
"I have no real experience to pull from, so I'm just going to keep it as simple as I can, and just control what I can control."
Joe Ostermeier, chairman of the St. Louis chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America, has written about the Cardinals since their 1985 playoff run. He can be reached at (618) 239-2512, or at email@example.com.