It’s not that Lance Lynn isn’t popular with Cardinal fans. I’d suspect that after working the first shutout of his career against the Yankees, his Q rating has spiked.
Hopefully not peaked.
Lynn is somewhat of a curiosity in Cardinal Nation. He just turned 27, but feels like he’s been in the rotation forever. He’s 39-20 in his MLB career, but enjoys the best run support of any Cardinals pitcher. He’s on a team that’s as thoroughly covered as any in baseball, but if he called you right now, would you have any idea what he sounds like? Or what his interests are?
You don’t see Lynn shirseys in the stands at Busch Stadium, at least not often. And any possible beer fueled trade arguments invariable include Lynn as the piece that the other GM is totally going to overvalue and immediately ship their superstar over for.
Be honest, you kind of were hoping Matheny kept Carlos Martinez AND Joe Kelly in the starting rotation, even though Lynn hadn’t pitched out of the bullpen since 2011 and had earned his rotation spot.
I’m not saying it is/was right. Or fair. It’s just kind of the way it is.
A 2/1 win ratio with a 4.9 career WAR at 27 years old would be something 29 other teams would be building around. But with the Cardinals? Meh. What else in on the menu? He’s criminally under-appreciated. The guy who has been riding the lightning, not creating the storm.
Now he came out and twirled a gem against the most high-profile team in baseball. It was really a joy to watch. And as you can see from the picture above, the emotion was running high. Everyone wanted this for Lynn. This is what he COULD be. This is his new standard…
And it’s totally not fair.
Lance Lynn isn’t Adam Wainwright. And the Cardinals don’t need him to be. But The Nation? They’re not so good with rational thought. And as much as we’re celebrating a breakthrough win tonight, don’t expect the honeymoon to last.
No, at the next sign of trouble, this win will be brought up. One of the best moments of Lynn’s professional career used against him, to further the argument that what he’s providing isn’t somehow good enough. And If I’m being honest with myself, I hate having this be my first thought after that game.
Sometimes, though, the narrative is so low hanging, it’s hard for Cardinal fans to not pick it.
Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe everyone really has turned a corner with Lynn and I’m trying to throw shade on a sunny situation. Prove me wrong, Cardinal Nation. Enjoy the win for what it is. Can you do it?