Washington Nationals: Five To Watch Versus St. Louis Cardinals
By Ron Juckett
After missing all of 2016 recovering from Tommy John surgery, Lance Lynn makes his second start of the year Tuesday night.
In his first, against the Chicago Cubs on April 6, Lynn was sharp in a no-decision. Hurling 5.1 innings and 98 pitches, he walked 1 and fanned four. He surrendered a walk and five hits, but kept the ball in the yard allowing two earned runs.
Aside from an Anthony Rizzo double, Lynn did not allow another extra-base hit. He tossed 61 strikes and 37 balls inducing five swings and misses. With the Cardinals thinking they have a legitimate shot hanging with the Cubs all year, the Cardinals want to see what Lynn can give them his second time out.
Knowing there will be a strict pitch or inning limit, it is important the Nats grind out at-bats and work that pitch count. It takes a few starts for anyone coming off Tommy John to feel comfortable. Washington wants to have his comfort level return some place beside Nationals Park.
Before the injury, Lynn posted a 3-1 record against the Nats in six games. With a 3.29 ERA over four starts and 27.1 innings, he struck out 31 while walking 10.