With ace Adam Wainwright's elbow issue hanging over the St. Louis Cardinals, starting pitcher Lance Lynn did an incredible job Friday of picking up the slack.
The big righty had the the unenviable task of facing the red hot Washington Nationals who have displayed the best offense in the National League of late. Add to that the fact that his hitters could only muster a single run on three hits and it would seem like it would be about impossible for Lynn to pull out a victory.
But Lynn has a knack for doing what it takes to win.
So all he did was take to the mound and throw eight shutout innings with two hits allowed, no walks and eight strike outs to out-duel Jordan Zimmerman who did no less than to throw a 76-pitch complete game.
The only Redbirds run came from Matt Adams who was added to the roster from the disabled list before the game. In his first at-bat he launched a solo home into the right centerfield bleachers. Later Adams collected the second of the Birds' three hits with a single up the middle.
Lynn and closer Trevor Rosenthal were able to pitch around a pair of woeful errors. In the top of the sixth, Jose Lobaton singled just inside the third base bag. Matt Holliday came over to pick it up and dropped the ball -- twice -- to allow Lobaton to move into scoring position with one out. Lynn never missed a beat. He got Zimmerman to pop out and then retired Denard Span on a weak fly ball to centerfielder Jon Jay.
With two outs in the ninth, second baseman Kolten Wong kicked a ball that should have ended the game. The air seemed to be sucked out of Busch Stadium for a moment as the Nationals, who failed to produce a rally the entire game, suddenly found themselves with the potential go-ahead run at the plate.
But, like Lynn earlier in the game, Rosenthal seemed to easily shrug off the obstacle and struck out Washington's bonus hitter to end the game and give Lynn his seventh win of the season.
Cardinals Star of the Game. Lynn, who improved to 22-9 at Busch Stadium III with the victory. Apparently Lynn likes to pitch on June 13. Last year on this date he shut out the Chicago White Sox for a 1-0 win while striking out 12.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Adams' homer.
Lowlight: Wong's error was pretty awful. It's pretty tough to give teams a second chance at the MLB level and get away with it. Especially in the ninth inning.