The Los Angeles Dodgers face elimination in Game 3 of the National League Division Series as they lost consecutive games to the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium and now give the ball to Lance Lynn.
Lynn was acquired at the trade deadline to help eat innings for an ailing rotation, but his importance has increased due to various factors, including continued injury issues and Julio Urías getting arrested on suspicion of domestic violence.
After Clayton Kershaw and Bobby Miller each struggled in their outings, going a combined two innings with nine runs allowed, the Dodgers need Lynn to be effective and hope the offense can pick up their production.
“I’m in a good spot,” Lynn said. “I’m looking forward to showing it on the biggest stage.”
Although Lynn has made his name as someone who pitches deep into games, the Dodgers have Ryan Pepiot behind him and just need quality outs more than the quantity of innings.
“I mean, in the playoffs when they give you the ball, no matter where it’s at you take it and you go get as many outs as you can until they take it from you,” Lynn said.
It’s a new role for Lynn and something that’s not necessarily been asked of him before, but he doesn’t think it will make much of a difference in planning to face the Diamondbacks.
“To be honest with you, there’s not been a whole lot of change in the approach or anything like that,” Lynn explained. “It’s just Dave wanted me to know, ‘Hey, in the postseason we don’t need you to throw 100-plus pitches and all that. We just need to you get as many quality outs as you can.’
“There’s times during a regular season where you make sure you make sure you get deeper. And he just told me not to worry about that, just keep attacking hitters, keep doing your thing, not trying to make sure you have quick outs or quick innings or try to put the ball in play. That’s pretty obvious when it comes to this time of the year, though.
“That was something that he reiterated moving towards, into the regular season just to kind of get the mindset going in that direction, which comes at this time of year anyway. So it was just a little warmup before.”
Regardless of his role, Lynn is ready to pitch in the postseason after spending the first half of the season with the Chicago White Sox.
“Just the opportunity to play in the playoffs is why you play the game,” Lynn said. “So I’m getting that opportunity. Hopefully I get a chance to help the team win, get back in the win column so we can try to make this as a series.”
Lance Lynn stats at Chase Field
Lynn has made six career starts at Chase Field, where he’s pitched to a 3.27 ERA and 1.46 WHIP to go along with 34 strikeouts compared to 13 walks in 33 innings.
“It’s a good ballpark,” Lynn said. “The fans, they’re always into the game. For me, the mound’s got a good feel to it. So when you get on a mound you feel comfortable with, you’ve got to make pitches, execute. Out here I’ve done that for the most part.”
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