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Lynn's shutout versus Yankees a rare one

Lance Lynn wasn’t dominant, but he was sharp enough to earn his first career shutout by blanking the New York Yankees on Tuesday.

Lynn now has 39 wins over the past three seasons, but it looks like he’s headed to his best season in that span, with a 3.13 ERA so far. The past two seasons, his ERA was 3.78 and 3.97.

How he won

Lynn triumphed with a fastball that ranged from 92 to 95 mph and netted him 19 outs.

Lance Lynn

Lance Lynn

#31 SP
St. Louis Cardinals

2014 STATS

  • GM11
  • W6

  • L2

  • BB23

  • K61

  • ERA3.13

But Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Lynn’s breaking stuff was the best he’d seen all season, even though Lynn didn’t get a swing and miss on any of the 28 breaking balls he threw.

Lynn threw a season-high 18 percent curveballs (22 of his 126 pitches), and those resulted in seven outs while yielding only one baserunner.

The Yankees went 2 for 17 when hitting ground balls against Lynn, who has benefited from improved infield defense: Cardinals infielders have turned 78 percent of ground balls hit against Lynn into outs. Last season, their out rate was 72 percent.

Interleague shutout of the Yankees a rarity

No pitcher had thrown a shutout in interleague play against the Yankees since the 1997 season, when Dave Mlicki (Mets), Greg Maddux (Braves) and Mike Grace (Phillies) did so.

The last Cardinals pitcher to shut out the Yankees in either the regular season or postseason was Ernie White, who threw a six-hitter against them in Game 3 of the 1942 World Series.

The last Cardinals pitcher to throw a complete game against the Yankees is a more recognizable name — Hall-of-Famer Bob Gibson, in clinching Game 7 of the 1964 World Series.

As the Elias Sports Bureau noted, Gibson beat a Missouri native in Mel Stottlemyre that day. Lynn beat one as well in Yankees starter David Phelps.

Matt Adams continues to rake

Matt Adams supported Lynn’s effort by going 3 for 4 with an RBI. He is now 5 for 9 in the series and 18 for 40 in his past 11 games.

Adams continues to excel against pitches on (or just off) the outside edge of the plate. He has three hits in the series on pitches to the outer third or off the corner (including one on Tuesday), giving him 37 for the season.

Last season, Adams saw 693 pitches to that location (266 more than he’s seen so far this season) and had only 28 hits. He also has 32 line drives on such pitches in 2014, more than twice as many as he had in 2013 (15).