Dizzy Dean is one of the greatest pitchers and biggest personalities in baseball history. He led the National League in strikeouts for four consecutive seasons, his number 17 is among those permanently retired by the St. Louis Cardinals and he is a member of Baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Lance Lynn doesn’t yet compare in any way other than wearing the same uniform eight decades later. After all, the soft-spoken 25-year-old is just in his second season in the major leagues and first in the rotation.
Lynn’s recent pitching is doing all the talking for him, though he could brag that he has accomplished something that ‘Ol Diz never did – strike out 11 or more opponents in two consecutive starts.
Lynn followed his 11 strikeout performance in just six innings at Houston on June 7 with a career-best 12 K’s logged in 7 1/3 scoreless innings against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.
The right-hander also picked up his 10th win of the season in 13 starts. While his pace isn’t going to threaten Dean’s amazing 30-win total in 1934, it is tied for the most in the major leagues currently. To help put its value into perspective, Lynn has logged almost one-third of his team’s victories this season to date (10 of 32).
In amassing those two big strikeout games, Lynn becomes only the fifth pitcher in the history of the club do so. Not surprisingly, another Hall of Famer, Cardinals career strikeout leader Bob Gibson, accomplished it five times as the only repeater on the list below.
Lynn has something to shoot at in his next start, which is to join Gibson as the only Cardinals pitcher to fan 11 or more in three straight outings. Gibson did it twice, including logging two shutouts during three consecutive high-strikeout starts in his magical 1968 season. (Also note that all 12 of Gibson’s consecutive high-strikeout outings were complete games.)
Even so, Gibson only won two of the three starts in both of his three-game streaks of fanning 11 or more. That gives Lynn a more important target his next time out – to log another “W”.
11 or more strikeouts in consecutive starts, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher, 1918-present
Special thanks to researcher Tom Orf for pulling the above table.