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July 23, 2013

St. Louis’ Lynn letting his frustration show too much

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Cardinals want Lance Lynn to gain better control of more than just his pitch assortment. They’re trying to help him channel his emotions, too.

The right-hander has been a big success, making the All-Star team his first year in the rotation and winning 11 games prior to the break again this year. During the drought Lynn is going through right now, the frustration shows all too well.

Lynn (11-5) has lost four of his last five starts and allowed 10 runs in 9 1-3 innings his last two times out.

Manager Mike Matheny met with the 26-year-old pitcher the day after watching the shoulders sag, the pace drag and the complaints pile up about broken-bat dribblers, seeing-eye hits and mistakes on defense.

“His tendency is to be that aggressive guy, to the point he doesn’t know what is expected of him,” Matheny said. “We want him to be himself but also understand there’s some things inside the game how you’re perceived, how your teammates respond.”

Matheny’s not the only one counseling Lynn.

“He’s getting bombarded from the veteran guys, too,” Matheny said. “I think he’s got a real clear picture now and I’m anxious to watch him compete the next time.”

Next time, the Cardinals would like to see a pitcher who won’t take it all too personally.

“First and foremost, he needs to get out there and win, get out there and compete,” Matheny said. “Things weren’t going his way and he was trying to keep himself from exploding and meanwhile slowed down the pace of the game.”

In a 5-3 loss to the Padres Friday, Lynn gave up four runs in five ponderous innings while getting his share of bad breaks. Among them, first baseman Matt Adams failed to cover the bag on a comebacker that became a gift infield hit, and a broken-bat chopper drove in a run.

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