ST. LOUIS — Lance Lynn made no attempt at sugar-coating his latest postseason flop. Manager Mike Matheny picked him to start Game 2 of the NL division series and the bullpen was busy all day.
“It was a bad game,” Lynn said after getting chased in the fifth inning of a 7-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday that evened it at a game apiece.
“I approached this game as I always do. I had good stuff but I made four bad pitches and they went for extra-base hits,” he said.
Rookie Gerrit Cole gave up two hits in six dominant innings and had an RBI in his postseason debut for Pittsburgh and Pedro Alvarez homered for the second straight day.
Cardinals mistakes helped build a nice cushion for the Pirates, who head home for Game 3 on Sunday in the best-of-five series. Wild-card game winner Francisco Liriano faces Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly.
Lynn is 0-2 in three starts the last two postseasons, allowing nine earned runs in 12 2-3 innings. He twice faced the Giants in the NL championship series last fall, the longest start lasting 3 2-3 innings.
The right-hander got the nod ahead of Kelly and rookies Shelby Miller and Michael Wacha based on a strong September and 9-3 record at home. He’s yet to qualify for a postseason victory after yielding five runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings.
“I’m not a gambler by nature,” Matheny said. “Just take the information in. We’re really happy with how all of our starters ended the season.”
Wacha (4-1, 2.78) will oppose Charlie Morton (7-4, 3.26) in Game 4 Monday.
Lynn made it to the fifth for the first time, but just barely. Miller warmed up in the third and Lynn was yanked with one out after back-to-back doubles by Justin Morneau and Marlon Byrd that put the Pirates up 5-0, followed by a four-pitch walk to Alvarez that gave reliever Seth Maness a little more time to warm up.