ST. LOUIS — When Lance Lynn takes the ball for the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday in the National League Championship Series, he plans to show why he's much better than the pitcher who struggled through Game 1.
In his first-ever postseason start, Lynn gave up four runs on five hits in only 3.2 innings pitched—not his best effort.
When asked specifically what he needed improve from his last game, Lynn laughed.
"Not give four straight two-out hits up in one inning," he said.
In his defense, Lynn had come in from the bullpen in four of the previous six games. That means his normal between-start routine had been in shambles until the period between his last start and Friday's.
"Everything was the same as it would have been during the season," he said. "You have your normal rest. You're able to do your normal things that you need to do in between with the bullpens and things like that. So, I'm looking forward to having that feeling going into this one."
Lynn has a good support network, however, to help him understand how to handle both the pressure of the postseason and the best way to be ready to go.
He said that Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright push him to be everything he is capable of and to always strive to improve.
"To have those guys to teach me how to work in between starts, teach me when it's good to throw a longer side or shorter side...you kind of...you learn how to work around those days off and when you can work harder or when you need to work smarter," he said. "Those guys, they know how to do it and they've done it successful for a while. So it's a good group to learn from."
The pitchers aren't his only backers.
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has played possibly the most vital role for Lynn in his mental prep both throughout the regular season and during the postseason.
"He does his homework on hitters," Lynn said. "He knows everything that they've done all year or what they've been doing in the last week or so in changing their approach to what we've been doing to them. He has a great feel for what they're trying to do, and he knows how we can be successful."
"You have the most faith that you can have with someone every time he puts down a finger. You know that there's a good thought behind it," he said. "He's not just down there putting fingers down for the heck of it."
Lynn said he's ready for Friday's start and isn't nervous by the fact that the Cardinals are one win away from the World Series.
He said he's just treating it like it's any other start and plans to throw strikes and stay ahead in the count—the basics.
He stressed the importance of not trying to do too much.
"We're in the playoffs," Lynn said with a smile. "It doesn't matter when you pitch or where you'll pitch as long as they feel that you can get the job done and they call your name. It's enjoyable, no matter what the situation or the time of it."
Corey Noles is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.
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