Cardinals 1-0 over Nationals: Lance Lynn nearly unhittable in Busch Stadium

Jeff Curry

The Washington Nationals managed to get two hits but not much else from St. Louis Cardinals' starter Lance Lynn, who threw eight scoreless to make a home run by Matt Adams hold up in the Cards' 1-0 win in the series opener in Busch Stadium.

Eero Saarinen and Hannskarl Bandel Top 5:

5. Quick Recap: Jordan Zimmermann erased a leadoff runner in the second with a 5-4-3 DP, but left a 1-0 change up in the zone to Matt Adams, the mountain-sized St. Louis Cardinals' first baseman, who returned from a DL stint with a solo home run to center field in Busch Stadium to give the Cards a 1-0 lead early in the series opener with the Washington Nationals.

The rest of the story?

Lance Lynn: 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 Ks, 111 P, 73 S, 5/3 GO/FO.

Jordan Zimmermann was pretty good too: 8.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER 1 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 76 P, 57 S, 14/0 GO/FO.

Trevor Rosenthal closed it out and earned the save with a scoreless ninth.

Adams' HR was the difference, 1-0 Cards final.

4. Zimmermann vs the Cards: Nationals' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann was named the NL Player of the Week after walking one batter, striking out 16 and allowing just seven hits in his last two starts and 17 IP on the mound, over which he held opposing hitters to a .121/.136/.172 line in outings against the Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres.

"'It was fun putting up the zeros. The main thing was to go deep and win the ballgame.'" - Jordan Zimmermann via MLB.com's Bill Ladson

Heading into tonight's outing against the St. Louis Cardinals in Busch Stadium, the Nationals' 28-year-old, '07 2nd Round pick was (5-2) on the year with a 3.17 ERA, a 2.87 FIP, 14 walks (1.64 BB/9) and 66 Ks (7.75 K/9) in 13 starts and 76 2/3 IP so far this season, over which he'd held opposing hitters to a .271/.309/.388 line.

Zimmermann was, however, facing a franchise that he'd struggled against in the past.

In the Nationals and Cardinals' series in D.C. earlier this season, Zimmermann gave up seven hits and four runs, one earned, in seven innings of work in which he walked two and struck out six in a losing effort. That outing left the Nats' starter (0-4) vs the Cards in his major league career with a 7.03 ERA, eight walks (1.82 BB/9) and 29 Ks (6.58 K/9) in 39 2/3 IP against St. Louis in seven regular season starts, over which St. Louis' hitters have put up a combined .313/.364/.497 line against him.

On the road in the Cardinals' home, the Auburndale, Wisconsin-born starter was (0-2) in three starts before tonight, with a 5.59 ERA, four walks (1.86 BB/9) and 10 Ks (4.19 K/9) in 19 1/3 IP in which Cards' hitters put up a .280/.325/.373 line.

Thus far this season, however, he'd actually put up better numbers away from the nation's capital, with a (3-1) record in five road starts, a 2.91 ERA, 3.04 FIP, four walks (1.06 BB/9) and 34 Ks (9.00 K/9) in 34 IP over which he'd held opposing hitters to a .241/.268/.383 line before facing the Cardinals for the second time in this year.

Zimmermann's 14th start of the 2014 campaign began with a hard-hit liner to center field...

1st: Matt Carpenter lined out to a charging Denard Span in center for the first out of the Cardinals' first. Kolten Wong grounded out to short for out no.2. Matt Holliday fell behind 0-2 quickly and grounded sharply to third to end an 11-pitch, 1-2-3 frame.

2nd: Allen Craig lined a single to right on an 0-2 fastball up in the zone outside, but he was doubled up on a grounder to third off Cards' catcher Yadier Molina's bat that started a 5-4-3 DP. Matt Adams stepped in with two down and took a 1-0 change for a ride, launching a solo home run to the right of center field for a 1-0 lead early in the series opener in St. Louis. Jhonny Peralta took a nine-pitch, two-out walk from the Nats' starter, but Jon Jay grounded out to second to end an 18-pitch inning that left Zimmermann at 29 total after two.

3rd: Lance Lynn took an 0-2 fastball for a called strike three. Matt Carpenter went down 0-2, got to 2-2, but took a 94 mph knee-high heater for a called strike three. Kolten Wong's groundout to short ended a nine-pitch third. 38 total.

4th: Matt Holliday grounded back to the mound, where Jordan Zimmermann made a stab and grab for out no.1. Allen Craig and Yadier Molina both sent grounders Anthony Rendon's way and two throws to first later Zimmermann was through a quick, seven-pitch inning at 45 pitches overall.

5th: Matt Adams hit a broken-bat single to center in the first at bat of the Cardinals' fifth, but he was doubled up on another 5-4-3 DP, this time off Peralta's bat. Jon Jay's groundout to short ended a five-pitch fifth that left Zimmerman at 50 pitches.

6th: Lance Lynn K'd swinging over a cruel 0-2 curve outside for out no.1 and K no.3.  Matt Carpenter grounded out to first for groundout no.11. Kolten Wong took a backdoor, 1-2 bender for a called strike three and K no.4. 14-pitch frame. 64 total after six. 12 of 13 set down.

7th: Matt Holliday popped out to second. Allen Craig K'd swinging at a 1-2 slider outside. K no.5. Yadier Molina's sharp grounder to second ended a seven-pitch frame after which Zimmermann had set down 15 of 16 Cards' batters. 71 pitches in seven innings pitched. 12 groundouts.

8th: Matt Adams grounded out. Jhonny Peralta grounded out. Jon Jay grounded out. Five-pitch eighth for Jordan Zimmermann, 76 total after eight innings, 15 groundouts.

3. Lynn-Sanity: Nationals' hitters managed to score just one run on five hits in 5 1/3 IP when they faced 27-year-old Cards' right-hander Lance Lynn in May in a 4-3 win for St. Louis in Nationals Park. With the win in that outing, the '08 1st Round pick (39th overall) improved to (2-1) against Washington in his four major league seasons with a 6.23 ERA, six walks (4.15 BB/9) and 16 Ks (11.08 K/9) in four games, two starts and 13 IP in his career.

On the year before tonight, Lynn was (6-4) with a 3.49 ERA, 3.62 FIP, 31 walks (3.61 BB/9) and 69 Ks (8.03 K/9) in 13 games and 77 1/3 IP, over which he'd held opposing hitters to a combined .255/.327/.376 line.

Lynn's 14th start of the season began with a 13-pitch, 1-2-3 first inning. After a quick, 12-pitch, 1-2-3 second, Lynn was up to 25 pitches. A 21-pitch, 1-2-3 3rd left him at 46 after three perfect frames.

A 13-pitch, 1-2-3 fourth made it 12 up, 12 down on 59 pitches.

Lynn needed 15 pitches to set down no.s 13-14 and 15. 74 pitches through five perfect frames.

Danny Espinosa's swinging K made it 16 straight Nationals set down. But Jose Lobaton hit a one-out single by third to break up Lynn's no-hit bid and his bid for perfection. Two outs later, Lynn was through six scoreless, however, at 85 pitches after an 11-pitch frame. Still 1-0 Cards.

Jayson Werth singled with one down in the Nationals' seventh, but Adam LaRoche grounded into an inning-ending 5-3 DP in the shift. Nine-pitch inning, 94 total after seven scoreless.

Lynn's 17-pitch eighth left him at 111 pitches.

Lance Lynn's Line: 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 Ks, 111 P, 73 S, 5/3 GO/FO.

2. St. Louis Blues: As the Nationals' pregame notes mentioned, the Nats were 10-6 against St. Louis in the last 16 games contested in the nation's capital, but just 2-15 in the Cardinals' home since 2008. The Cards had also taken 9 of the last 11 regular season games between the two franchises who played a tightly-contested but ultimately disappointing (for D.C. fans) Division Series in 2012 in the first appearance by a Washington-based franchise since 1933. This weekend's three-game series in St. Louis began with a 1-0 win. Nats 2-16 in St. Louis since 2008.

1. The Wrap-Up: The Nationals flew in from San Francisco last night. And boy were their arms tired. Lance Lynn was great. Trevor Rosenthal got the save with a scoreless ninth. Wrapped.

Nationals now 35-31

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