Lynn thriving after anti-tipping adjustment
Cardinals right-hander continues strong run with eight-inning gem
DENVER -- Lance Lynn knows his eight-inning, three-hit gem against the Rockies on Monday night wouldn't have been possible without a moment of self-realization that came three starts ago against the Blue Jays.
While Lynn has always felt confidence in his fastball command, he couldn't help but notice batters spitting on everything else he'd sent their way this season.
"I couldn't throw my breaking pitches for strikes or get anybody to swing at them," Lynn said after St. Louis' 8-0 win at Coors Field. "But it might be because they knew what was coming."
Midway through his start against the Blue Jays on June 6, it clicked in Lynn's mind that he might be tipping his pitches.
"I had a tendency in some at-bats when my leg came up, my hands came up with it," Lynn said.
Lynn decided then to do "less up and down," instead keeping his hands lowered, more parallel to his waist. His results since have undeniably confirmed his suspicions.
"I've got a lot of weird and awkward swings on my breaking pitches that I hadn't been getting -- which is the reason we thought I might have been tipping," Lynn said.
In his three starts since that game in Toronto, Lynn has permitted just 10 hits and four walks in 22 innings, striking out 20 against only two earned runs.
Lynn also believes his steady hands have naturally forced him to be more harmonious with his entire pitching motion.
"By not moving my hands, I've just let my lower half work instead of getting a little jumpy with my upper body," Lynn said. "For me to be successful, I've got to let my lower body work and everything comes off that. I've been able to do that my last couple of starts."
Trying to do too much with his upper body previously, Lynn noticed his pitches occasionally "running away, shooting off a little bit and no chance of getting on the plate."
Manager Mike Matheny has observed Lynn's cutter and sinker staying over the plate on a more consistent basis after his latest tinkering.
"It's just the slot he's finding and the way he keeps adjusting," said Matheny. "I think it's that more so than anything else, those minor adjustments where his hands set and breaks ... he's in a good groove and we just want to keep him there.
Unfortunately for the opposition, Lynn feels being in his current groove will only lead to further improvements.
"It feels like it's easier to correct right now," Lynn said. "I think a lot of that is when you're going good, everything feels like it's easier to correct."
Cody Ulm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.