Dodgers to give Lance Lynn the ball in Game 3 of NLDS – Press Enterprise
LOS ANGELES ― Lance Lynn has started three postseason games against the Dodgers in his 12-year major league career.
Wednesday, he is likely to make his first postseason start for the Dodgers in Game 3 of the National League Division Series in Phoenix.
“I don’t see it being anyone outside of Lance,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said before Game 2 of their best-of-five series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday. “And so we’ll see how tonight goes, but I think that’s a pretty safe bet.”
Lynn turned around what had been a disastrous season after joining the Dodgers in a July trade, along with reliever Joe Kelly, that sent outfielder Trayce Thompson and two prospects to the Chicago White Sox.
In 21 starts prior to the trade, Lynn was 6-9 with a 6.47 ERA. In 11 starts after the trade, he went 7-2 with a 4.36 ERA.
Lynn threw to teammates in an intrasquad scrimmage on Thursday. Prior to that, his last competitive outing was Sept. 29 in San Francisco, when he allowed two hits and two runs in six innings of the Dodgers’ 6-2 victory over the Giants.
The right-hander has not faced the Diamondbacks since July 29, 2020.
“I think for us it’s a guy that’s been there before and really just kind of trusting the fact that he’s going to be there and pitch well and to have a group of arms behind him,” Roberts said of Lynn. “I don’t know what that start’s going to look like, but I feel very confident. And that’s why we got him – to come here and pitch big innings for us.”
Lynn’s postseason resume is long. He earned a World Series ring as a rookie reliever with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011. He made his first postseason starts the following year, both in the NL Championship Series against the eventual champion Giants.
In 2013, Lynn pitched two scoreless innings to complete the Cardinals’ 13-inning victory over the Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLCS. Four days later, he started Game 4 and pitched 5⅓ innings to earn the victory in another Cardinals win.
Although he pitched six strong innings in Game 2 of the 2014 NLDS in Los Angeles, Lynn did not factor into the decision in the Dodgers’ 3-2 win.
This year Lynn led the major leagues in home runs allowed by a pitcher, including 16 in his 11 starts with the Dodgers. Only three Dodger pitchers allowed more home runs this season.
Right-hander Ryan Pepiot will figure into the pitching plan for Game 3 too, Roberts said. Pepiot started three games for the Dodgers after missing most of the season with an intercostal muscle injury. He pitched “bulk innings” out of the bullpen in another five games, averaging more than five innings per appearance overall.
Pepiot, who faced teammates in an intrasquad setting Friday, went 2-1 with a 2.14 ERA overall. Coincidentally, the 36-year-old Lynn and 26-year-old Pepiot are among only four active major league players born in Indianapolis.
The Diamondbacks are expected to counter with right-hander Brandon Pfaadt in Game 3. Manager Torey Lovullo declined to officially name Pfaadt.
Dodgers pitching Mark Prior said he thought Clayton Kershaw’s “stuff was fine” despite his poor results in Game 1.
“It probably ticked up a little,” Prior said. “But I think it was standard-type stuff where he’s been over the last month or so.”
The Diamondbacks were all over that stuff, swinging at 24 of the 25 pitches Kershaw put in the strike zone while facing eight hitters and retiring just one in the worst start of his career.
Could the Diamondbacks have known something – through pitch-tipping, perhaps – that allowed them to be so aggressive and successful against Kershaw?
“Those are always factors. It’s kind of hard to say,” Prior said. “Sometimes it’s hit or miss on those things.
“Whether it’s sequencing, whether it’s tendencies, whether it’s the game itself – again, they have a good lineup and they’ve seen him a ton of times. So they have some familiarity with him. At the end of the day, it’s hard for me and it’s hard for us in general with all the things we look at, whether it’s tipping, whether it’s analytics stuff or his delivery – for me to say it’s the one thing.
“At the end of the day, it’s performance and they performed better than we did.”
Dodgers third baseman Max Muncy said the entire team participated in Sunday’s “optional” workout at Dodger Stadium. “Everybody’s attitude was good,” he said. … Lovullo spent Sunday’s off-day with his mother at her home in Westlake Village. “I felt like I was in outer space,” he said. “It was a totally relaxing moment.” … Roberts re-affirmed that Kershaw and right-hander Emmet Sheehan are lined up to pitch in Game 4 of the NLDS, with Kershaw starting and Sheehan coming out of the bullpen. Both pitchers threw bullpen sessions at Dodger Stadium on Monday. … Jake Gelof, the Dodgers’ second-round pick in the 2023 amateur draft, was named California League Player of the Month for September. The Rancho Cucamonga third baseman batted .308/.341/.744 and led the league in home runs (five), RBIs (17), total bases (29) and slugging percentage (.744).
The Dodgers have a day off Tuesday.
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