"He was great. Frankly, I thought it might happen, because that's how it's worked all year," Mozeliak said. "The moment you need someone to step up and do something, they do it."
Lyons shut down the Pirates, who had put up eight runs a few hours earlier in the first half of Wednesday's day-night twin bill. He gave up only four hits, didn't walk anyone and struck out five.
"Off the charts. Couldn't be any more proud of what he was able to do," manager Mike Matheny said. "He just kept going. I just kept firing him out there. Why wouldn't you? ... He had everything working today. It was a great display of what he can do."
Martinez had been scheduled to start but was shut down for the season on Saturday with a strained right shoulder. So the assignment fell to Lyons, who hadn't thrown more than 46 pitches in a game since Sept. 2.
Lyons made a convincing argument that he deserves a spot on the postseason roster.
"We needed somebody to come up big today, and it was Tyler Lyons," Matheny said. "Had to have that kind of start from Tyler, and he was terrific."
Lyons faced the minimum 18 hitters through six innings, efficiently and aggressively going after Pittsburgh's lineup after being spotted a six-run lead in the first three innings. He took advantage of that edge by pounding the strike zone, getting ahead of hitters with his fastball, then mixing in sliders and changeups.
"You have a lead and you don't want to beat yourself. That was the kind of mind-set I took into that," Lyons said. "I felt good going into the game. I just wanted to attack and challenge them."
The Cardinals only needed to beat the Pirates once on Wednesday to keep the division race from dragging into the weekend. Thanks to Lyons, the latest "next man up," they were able to celebrate.
"Just another example of a guy stepping up. Sometimes you don't expect who it's going to be," third baseman Matt Carpenter said. "It's someone different every night. What Tyler was able to do tonight was huge."