Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn allowed a pair of homers in an otherwise decent June 6 start against the Blue Jays, in Toronto, and was apparently convinced afterward that he’d been tipping some of his pitches.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch described how Lynn and the coaching staff noticed and then fixed the issue:
The hitters’ reaction to his breaking ball was telling, and to combat their read on him Lynn changed the positions of his hand. He’d been more consistent from the stretch, so he lowered his hands from the windup, too, and “stopped the up-down motion.” The benefit has been an increased command of his fastball and less wild, untamed movement from his sinker. His curveball has also been more effective.
Last night Lynn tossed eight shutout inning against the Rockies, at Coors Field, and since that June 6 start against the Blue Jays he’s thrown 22 innings with a 0.82 ERA and 20/4 K/BB ratio.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.
Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.
Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.