A change in his delivery has led to some success for Lance Lynn. He hasn't had to make many adjustments against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Lynn attempts to win a fifth straight matchup with the Dodgers as the St. Louis Cardinals seek their sixth victory in eight games Saturday night.
Lynn (8-5, 2.90 ERA) has gone 2-1 with a 0.82 ERA in his last three starts. He had lost his previous two outings while surrendering nine runs and walking eight in 8 1-3 innings, causing the right-hander to suspect that he was tipping his pitches.
"I couldn't throw my breaking pitches for strikes or get anybody to swing at them," Lynn told MLB's official website. "But it might be because they knew what was coming.
"I've got a lot of weird and awkward swings on my breaking pitches that I hadn't been getting - which is the reason we thought I might have been tipping."
Lynn allowed three hits in eight innings of an 8-0 victory at Colorado on Monday.
"It's just the slot he's finding and the way he keeps adjusting," manager Mike Matheny said. "I think it's that more so than anything else, those minor adjustments where his hands set and breaks ... he's in a good groove and we just want to keep him there."
That's certainly the case for Lynn against the Dodgers, as he's posted a 1.40 ERA while winning four straight meetings - two of which came in the 2013 NL championship series. One of the games was a scoreless two-inning relief stint in a 3-2, 13-inning victory in Game 1.
The Cardinals (44-37) have gotten outstanding pitching so far in this four-game series. Carlos Martinez and four relievers combined on a seven-hitter in Friday's 3-1 victory, a day after Adam Wainwright's five-hitter made him a hard-luck loser opposite Josh Beckett in a 1-0 defeat.
Los Angeles (45-37) has also received impressive performances by its starters, who have a 2.26 ERA during an 8-3 stretch. They've issued fewer than three walks in 31 consecutive games, matching the 1990 Pittsburgh Pirates for the longest such streak by an NL club since 1914.
Zack Greinke (9-4, 2.89) has been nearly as good against St. Louis lately as Lynn's been against Los Angeles. Greinke has gone 4-0 with a 1.83 ERA in his last five starts versus the Cardinals, two of which came in last year's playoffs. He prevented the Dodgers from being eliminated in Game 5, allowing two runs in seven innings of a 6-4 victory.
The right-hander is also trying to match Wainwright and Cincinnati's Alfredo Simon for the league lead in wins, though he's 1-3 with a 4.40 ERA over his past five starts.
Greinke's latest outing may have been his worst of the season, as he surrendered five runs and 11 hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 5-3 loss at Kansas City on Monday.
A return to Dodger Stadium might be what Greinke needs to get on track. He's 13-3 with a 2.39 ERA in 21 home starts since joining Los Angeles prior to last season, and 5-1 with a 2.96 ERA in seven games there this year.
Dee Gordon has gone 8 for 12 over the past three contests after getting three hits with an RBI on Friday. The second baseman is 9 for 21 in his past six regular-season meetings with St. Louis, but he's 0 for 5 against Lynn.