MINNEAPOLIS — Lance Lynn’s start against his former team, the St. Louis Cardinals, was not the kind of outing you dream about as a kid. The new Twins’ starter used 82 pitches to record 9 outs before manager Paul Molitor had seen enough and turned things over to the bullpen.
“A lot of pitches, a lot of deep counts and some walks,” Lynn said afterward. “They put some deep at-bats on me and were able to work some walks, work some hits. It just wasn’t my day.”
He was asked if it felt any different facing a former employer for the first time: “No, for me it was another bad start. And that’s pretty much all I’ve done so far, so it wasn’t any different,” Lynn said.
The Cardinals drew 4 walks Tuesday and added 4 more hits on the way to scoring 3 earned runs. The Twins hung around all game long, and eventually lost, 7-5, after Lynn’s start start required 6 combined innings out of Minnesota’s bullpen.
Lynn has an extended track record as a much better pitcher than what he’s shown the Twins in 8 starts. The club at this point has to be hoping that Tuesday will be the last day that just didn’t go Lynn’s way.
In Tuesday’s start, Lynn didn’t throw enough strikes, slowed down the pace, clogged the bases, and the end result was not the one that he would have wanted.
Lynn said Tuesday that he’s not too concerned with the past, and that’s probably for the best. Now 8 starts into his Twins career, the results haven’t been pretty. He’s faced 180 hitters and issued 29 walks. He’s walked at least 4 batters in 5 of his 8 outings in a Twins uniform.
“You can feel like you’re doing what you’re supposed to do or close, and it just doesn’t go your way and then things kind of snowball,” he said.
A lot of Twins fans want to know how many more starts Lynn will be given if he keeps pitching this way. He’s working on a 1-year, $12 million contract with Minnesota. If he continues to pitch to a 7.47 ERA, the Twins will have other more appealing options for the starting rotation. Ervin Santana is scheduled to pitch a game Monday in extended spring training. Trevor May will pitch Thursday in Triple-A Rochester, his latest rehab outing on his way back from Tommy John surgery. May could be ready soon, and he’s eligible to be activated from the 60-day disabled list in less than two weeks.