Hello again, Lance Lynn. NLDS Game 2 represents the 10th time Lynn has started against the Pirates since the start of the 2012 season, providing a familiar face and arm for Pittsburgh's attempt to even up the playoff series.
The Bucs have produced many runs against the Cardinals' right-handed starter in that timespan: in 50.1 innings, Lynn has posted a 5.19 ERA despite 54 strikeouts and 21 walks. Beyond the results, simply facing a familiar pitcher can provide the Pirates a small advantage between two evenly matched teams.
"As a hitter, the unknown is sometimes a difficult thing," second baseman Neil Walker said. "Seeing guys' fastballs out of their hands, seeing the breaking ball... [but] we're not banking on that."
Make no mistake: Lance Lynn is a quality starter for St. Louis in Game 2: His 3.38 FIP over the last two seasons is better than that of other strong NL pitchers like Jordan Zimmermann and Mat Latos.
"With Lance you know you're going to be challenged with fastba...
James covers the Pirates beat for Pirates Prospects. He is a Broadcast Journalism student at USC and has written for such outlets as NBCOlympics.com, Pittsburgh Magazine and the official websites of the Los Angeles Clippers and Pittsburgh Penguins. James previously covered the Pirates for Pittsburgh Sports Report. He also broadcasts play-by-play for the USC Trojans baseball team and was awarded the 2013 Chick Hearn Memorial Scholarship and Allan Malamud Scholarship. James dispenses puns at his Twitter account (@JamesSantelli) where he promises to write in first-person.