St. Louis Cardinals

Lynn works on hitters, then clowns with media

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn warms up for the spring training game against the Houston Astros.
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn warms up for the spring training game against the Houston Astros.

Lance Lynn was in midseason form against the Houston Astros and with the media Thursday.

Lynn allowed one run in three innings and had three strikeouts in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 3-0 loss, then playfully sparred with reporters in a typically unorthodox interview.

“It went well,” he said. “I got all my pitches in. I mixed it up. It felt good.”

Lynn is big on short conversations, so he disclosed little about the process of returning from Tommy John surgery that sidelined him all of 2016. After all, Lynn reminds, it’s been 16 months since the surgery.

“I’m not there yet,” Lynn said. “But I have three or four more outings, so I’m not really worried about it. The ball was coming out good. I had good command in the strike zone. I would like to have a few more quality strikes, but other than that, everything felt good.

“The only thing that matters (in spring) is your pitch count.”

The conversation meandered back and forth. When Lynn, as he often does, began to act silly and display a smirk, reporters changed course.

Lynn was asked what he thought about the Missouri vs. Mississippi game in the Southeastern Conference Tournament, a game that was scheduled to start a few hours later.

“What sport?” Lynn said.

Told that it was basketball, he said: “I could care less.”

Later, Lynn was asked what it was like to work with catching prospect Carson Kelly.

“He’s going to get a feel for what I like to do, but that’s what we’re here for,” Lynn said.

Lynn was asked whether Kelly didn’t call for enough fastballs, Lynn’s favorite pitch.

“We were in-between today,” said Lynn, who recorded one of his strikeouts on a breaking ball. Asked whether Kelly called for the curveball, Lynn said: “No. Most everything is my idea.”

Lynn was asked about the Cardinals playing the Pittsburgh Pirates in an Aug. 20 regular-season game in Williamsport, Pa., site of the Little League World Series. Lynn played in the Little League World Series when he was 12 years old in 1999.

“It’s a small airport,” said Lynn, who recalled playing in three losses, including two games when he pitched, in Williamsport. “I remember not getting a win, and that (ticked) me off. (But) I was 12. I was on top of the world.”

Lynn, the Cardinals and the Pirates will have a lot of interaction with the Little League players. What will Lynn tell them?

“Enjoy it. Life’s got a lot of ups and downs. Just have fun with it. It’s just a game,” he said.

The conversation changed again moments later. Lynn wasn’t certain whether he would go out for dinner or eat at home.   

David Wilhelm: 618-239-2665, @DavidMWilhelm