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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Lance Lynn tops Dizzy Dean but still chases Bob Gibson

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

Pitcher Start End G W L GS CG SHO IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Bob Gibson 8/19/1968 8/28/1968 3 2 1 3 3 2 27 12 6 3 7 40 1 1.00
Bob Gibson 6/27/1965 7/7/1965 3 2 1 3 3 1 31 23 7 7 9 37 2 2.03
Alan Benes 6/11/1997 6/16/1997 2 1 1 2 1 0 14 8 4 4 7 22 1 2.51
Todd Stottlemyre 5/10/1996 5/15/1996 2 1 0 2 1 1 17 10 2 2 6 24 0 1.06
Bob Gibson 5/23/1970 5/28/1970 2 2 0 2 2 0 18 13 3 3 3 27 0 1.50
Bob Gibson 7/25/1969 7/30/1969 2 2 0 2 2 0 22 11 3 3 3 24 0 1.23
Bob Gibson 9/22/1968 9/27/1968 2 1 1 2 2 1 17 13 3 2 5 22 1 1.06
Sam Jones 8/17/1958 8/22/1958 2 1 1 2 1 0 15 12 9 9 7 25 4 5.28
Lance Lynn 6/7/2012 6/13/2012 2 2 0 2 0 0 13 9 2 2 3 23 1 1.35

Special thanks to researcher Tom Orf for pulling the above table.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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29 Responses to “Lance Lynn tops Dizzy Dean but still chases Bob Gibson”

  1. blingboy says:

    I agree that going for the win must be the goal. Hopefully Lance is comfortable being Lance Lynn and does not dream of being like Gibson or anyone else.

    It will be truly astonishing if he can go the season without being a victim of his own success like youngsters are prone to do. I will be profoundly impressed if he pitchers a great game and strikes out 5 or 6. His head would absolutly have to be in the right place for that to happen.

  2. blingboy says:

    Well, it doesn’t matter, for tonight at least. Carlos has a tummy ache. Maybe he saw a lineup card he didn’t like. Today I left work early, at 1:30, to go have a root canal on a molar that has an abcess under it. Tomorrow I will be back at work at 5am. I drive an hour each way and run machines, so no narcs. A character building experience if there ever was one. So, no, I don’t care about a tummy ache. Grow a pair and walk it off.

    Good news Brian. I am getting a subscription for father’s day, looking forward to TCN night in the owner’s box. 🙂

    • crdswmn says:

      Beltran had to go to the hospital, for his “tummy ache” btw.

      Personally, I would rather have a Beltran in the field who isn’t going to barf all over something on national TV. Seeing Chris Perez do it was enough for me, thank you. Something tells me Beltran might play better if he didn’t feel like he was going to hurl every minute of the game. Just a hunch.

    • crdswmn says:

      Did you walk to school everyday in 6 feet of snow, per chance? 😉

      • blingboy says:

        Up hill both ways.

        • crdswmn says:

          Well, I could describe my “tummy ache” in 2006 that put me in the hospital for 8 days, with tubes coming out of every orifice, a high tolerance for pain meds that couldn’t be adjusted, a 9 inch scar, and two feet of missing intestines, but I wouldn’t want to brag or anything. 😉

          • blingboy says:

            Ouch. I have to admit I would have taken a day off after that. But I’m sure Carlos just got a script for the pink stuff. It comes in grape now. yummy.

    • Brian Walton says:

      I didn’t know if you were a subscriber or not, but I appreciate the support. Thank you!

  3. WesPowell says:

    An interesting question would be a 2 or 3 consecutive game strikeout average. I wonder what Steve Carlton did in the other starts around his 19 fans with the Cardinals.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Yes, I was surprised Lefty did not make the list.

      His 19 strikeout game was 9/15/69. He and the Cards lost to the Amazin’ Mets, 4-3. He fanned 10 the game before, but only three the next time out.

  4. WesPowell says:

    Probably got bombed early, pitched one and a third and struck out one.

  5. WesPowell says:

    I think we’d have another ring or two had we kept Carlton. But we can’t complain. Overall we have done amazing in big trades.

    • Brian Walton says:

      My view as the worst trade in team history, hands down.

      • WesPowell says:

        Keith Hernandez may be second place.

      • blingboy says:

        There are two ways to look at ‘worst trade’. On the day it was made or how it eventually turned out.

        The Carleton trade may have turned out the worst, but only because Carleton went on to be awesome. It’s not like we got nothing. Wise was an all star already and an all star again with the Cards. Then we traded him off for Reggie Smith, all star, gold glove, who appeared in the all star game twice for the Cards.

        On the day it was made it was lopsided, but nothing like some others. All star, gold glove silver slugger Edmonds was traded for a former 9th rounder who hadn’t played above A advanced. Now that’s lopsided. Of course, it started looking less lopsided last October.

        • Brian Walton says:

          We got into this same discussion the other day over on the main board. I believe most would agree that the best way to assess a trade is long after the fact, rather than at one point in time. The person I was disagreeing with believes the Ducky Medwick trade was worst because he had won a Triple Crown.

          Having said that, I hated the Carlton trade the minute it was announced. I also remember where I was when I saw on the TV that Hernandez was traded. I doubt I have ever been more angry at the Cardinals.

          In 2006, I ranked the worst Cards trades of the last 40 years. Not surprisingly, they were #1 and #2.

          By the way, I liked the Edmonds trade. He was 37, his numbers had dropped four years straight and he had made it clear he did not want to be a part-timer. Freese was a very good player who had been blocked in the San Diego system.

          I remember the grief I took when right after the trade, I put Freese ahead of Allen Craig in our top prospect ranking because Freese was a better third baseman…

  6. WesPowell says:

    Carlton had a noteworthy 3 year stratch. In 1970 he lost 19 with the Cardinals. In 1971 he won 20 with the Cardinals, and in 1972 he won 27 for the Phillies who as a team were 59-97.

  7. WesPowell says:

    My father was a monster Cardinal fan and handed it down to me. He said Gussie did not personally like Carlton at all and that led to the trade.

  8. blingboy says:

    I haven’t looked it up, but Gibby must have run up some prodigeous pitch counts in some of those games.

  9. JumboShrimp says:

    Fantastic clutch game by Lance Lynn. I remember when he was drafted, there were lots of complaints. But he has been smooth as a pro, both in minors and majors. Composed. It would be great if Wacha could emulate him.

  10. JumboShrimp says:

    We played like we meant to win yesterday, Craig and Freese inside outing it to right center. Westbrook did a good job at the plate and with the glove.

  11. friendmouse says:

    I hate it when I’m so busy I cannot keep up with all things Cardinals!! I’ve been absent from here for some time…probably the reason for our prolonged slump. 🙂

    Lance Lynn just simply amazes me. He is so nonchalant, business-like in his approach…showing little or no emotion. Just doing work.

    Thank you, Tom Ort, for the facts and figures. Another amazing tidbit I took from analyzing some of those numbers was the “all-time” high K/ innings pitched number which LL posted during those two outings. Gibby’s highest on that list was 1.57 K’s/inning. Sam Jones posted an even higher 1.67 K’s/inning, but LL’s ratio was 1.77 K’s/inning over that fantastic 2-game stretch!!

    And to me, another intriguing aspect to LL’s pitching is that, in general, we don’t hear ravings about his blazing speed, or his knee-buckling bender, or his wicked slider, etc., etc. He just makes quality pitches…plain and simple. I heard a mention today of him being a possible Cy Young candidate. WOW! That’s saying something! I’d have to say, in total, Mr. Lance Lynn has been the best player on our team this year so far. A close second to Carlos Beltran, except that his health and missing a few games works to his detriment in that regard.

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