Lynn bemoans inability to make big pitch

Lynn bemoans inability to make big pitch

ST. LOUIS -- Having won 10 games before the All-Star break in each of his first three seasons as a full-time starter, Lance Lynn has fallen far from that pace to open this year. Lack of run support has been an issue a handful of times, but in Wednesday's 6-5 loss to the Cubs, it was Lynn's struggles to get shutdown innings that hurt the Cardinals' comeback attempts.

Twice, Lynn watched his offense peck away to pull within one and then immediately gave up a run in the following half-inning.

"I just couldn't make the pitch when I needed to," said Lynn, now 1-3 after taking the loss as the Cardinals' winning streak was snapped at eight games. "I was in some spots to make pitches to get out of innings, and just couldn't get it done tonight. I was leaving balls in the middle of the plate at the wrong time."

He also missed the plate at inopportune times, walking Chris Coghlan twice in front of three- and four-hole hitters Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant. Bryant drove home Coghlan once with an RBI single. Rizzo followed that second walk with a two-run double.

After allowing three or fewer runs in 19 consecutive starts, Lynn has allowed five or more in two of the last three times he's been on the mound. The five runs he allowed over six innings on Wednesday were as many as he had given up to Chicago in the five previous home starts he had against the club.

"It was a tough zone, floating around a little bit, and he was fighting, trying to, I think, make perfect pitches at times," manager Mike Matheny said. "But he did a nice job using his cutter. His curveball hurt him one time when he left it up and it got too much of the plate. But otherwise, it was a real effective pitch for him. And he found a real nice feel for his fastball."

Lynn did provide the Cardinals with enough length to rest five of their eight relievers, setting the team up to be in a better spot for Thursday's series finale. Lynn, who finished with a pitch count of 106, would have been given the seventh inning, too, had the Cardinals not needed to pull him for a pinch-hitter.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.