Chicago White Sox: Lynn’s 6 inning struggle showcased his talent
Lance Lynn did not have his best stuff for the Chicago White Sox but did his part against the Tampa Bay Rays in a game that was billed as one of the premier pitching matchups of the season. Despite his command eluding him, he was still able to battle his way to a quality start.
The Chicago White Sox are very lucky to have a starter like Lance Lynn right now.
Lance Lynn has been one of the most unhittable pitchers in baseball this season. His 1.23 ERA heading into Monday tells the entire story. He has the lowest ERA in the American League and the third lowest in the MLB. That is why it came as a surprise when the Rays ambushed him in the first inning and again in the third.
Austin Meadows opened the scoring by blasting a 1-0 sinker over the left-field fence with a runner on and Bradon Lowe later increased the lead to 3-0 on a solo shot. Despite the home runs, Lance Lynn kept his team in the game.
It was a slog for him all night as he struggled with command and had to overcome a high pitch count early. He often fell behind and struggled to put hitters away which resulted in a lot of full counts. Lynn was also let down on a couple of calls, specifically in the top of the third when a curveball that should have been strike three was called ball-four. It seemed like he was always working with traffic on the basepaths
"“It was one of those nights when things were off from the get-go,” Lynn said. “You have to figure out how to get through it. I made two mistakes. One was a decent pitch, and Lowe made a good swing and kept it fair. The other one was a bad sinker down and in, especially with two outs you can’t make that pitch right there.”"
While facing the Rays ace, Tyler Glasnow, Lynn knew his margin for error was small. That is why it is so impressive that he was able to gut through six innings despite things not going his way.
In typical Lance Lynn fashion, he challenged hitters with his fastball. In the first inning, he struck out Ji-Man Choi looking with a four-seam fastball over the plate. He the fourth inning he threw a fastball right down the middle and got Kevin Kiermaier to swing and miss. In the fourth, he challenged Brett Phillips with a 3-2 fastball and got him to fan at it as Lynn stomped off the mound yelling at himself.
Lynn turned in another quality start for the White Sox. He went six innings allowing three runs, striking out eight, and walking three. He was able to force 16 swings and misses on the night.
None were bigger than his strikeout to end his day. With his pitch count rising, Lynn was able to induce a critical double play with the help of some great defense from Danny Mendick. Then with his 103rd pitch of the night, he uncorked a 94 mph fastball to strike out Mike Zunino. Lynn erupted in celebration then unleashed a flurry of obscenities.
After the game Rays manager, Kevin Cash was impressed by the big man’s performance.
"“Lance Lynn is pitching as good as anybody in the game. It just shows how talented he is. We had great at-bats and he was still able to get through six innings. He’s got such good command. He’s willing to throw the ball in the zone. I think our guys had a good approach – just if you like it, hit it.”"
While Lance Lynn was tagged with his second loss of the season, it was not indicative of his effort on the mound. He is a fighter out there and he showed why you want the ball in his hands in the biggest games of the season.