The St. Louis Cardinals own the best record in the National League. Lance Lynn has been a big reason why. The right-hander takes aim at his seventh win of the season Saturday when the Cards continue a three-game series versus the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium.
Lynn improved to 6-1 on Monday, despite not having his best stuff against the New York Mets. Lynn allowed three runs and four hits in seven innings, but also walked five batters, as his ERA rose a bit to 2.88.
"I was throwing the ball where I wanted to, just missing off a little bit (off the plate)," Lynn said. "I couldn't get them to chase it early on. When you're walking five guys in the first few innings, it comes back to get you."
Lynn has faced the Brewers six times (2 starts) and is 2-1 with a 1.40 ERA.
Milwaukee, meanwhile, will rely on righty Marco Estrada, who is 3-2 with a 5.32 ERA. Estrada beat Pittsburgh on Monday, holding them to a run and three hits in seven innings. He also struck out five and walked a batter in the win.
"In my mind it was just timing, the timing of everything," Estrada said. "I still made a couple of bad pitches here and there, but the timing of everything was pretty good, and once I got that down, and once I got it going mentally, I knew I can locate a couple of things here and there and it just makes pitching a little easier. Where in the last outing, I had no timing, no consistency. I had it today and obviously it worked."
Estrada was hammered by the Cardinals for eight runs in just 3 1/3 innings two starts ago and is 0-4 lifetime against them with a 6.59 ERA in nine games (4 starts).
St. Louis beat the Brewers for the fifth straight time on Friday, as David Freese hit a grand slam as part of a five-run first inning, while Matt Holliday's RBI single in the fourth proved to be the difference in the Cardinals' 7-6 win.
Holliday scored a run and added another RBI single and Jon Jay drove in one run for the Cardinals, winners in four of their last five overall. Jaime Garcia (5-2) picked up the win, despite allowing six runs on six hits over 5 1/3 frames.
Aramis Ramirez accounted for all of Milwaukee's offense on a pair of three-run homers. Wily Peralta (3-4) gave up all seven runs -- six earned -- on 11 hits and struck out six over five innings for the Brewers, who have dropped four straight and are a mere 8-22 over their last 30 games versus St. Louis.
"Right now, we're going through a tough time," Ramirez said. "We just have to keep playing."
St. Louis has owned the Brewers this season to the tune of a 7-1 mark.