Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
With the Los Angeles Dodgers in desperate need of rotation help, they acquired struggling veteran Lance Lynn from the Chicago White Sox, betting that they could unlock some upside and help him get back on track.
The early results were encouraging as Lynn allowed three earned runs or fewer in his first five starts with the Dodgers. However, in his next two starts he gave up seven and eight runs, respectively, in just nine total innings.
Lynn’s most recent outings have been better, with seven innings and two runs on September 12 and five innings with three runs allowed on Monday. The right-hander added six strikeouts to one walk and gave up six hits, including one home run.
Lynn held the Detroit Tigers scoreless through the first four innings before he eventually allowed a three-run homer to Jake Rogers in the fifth.
“I thought it was a good outing,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “It could’ve been really good. I thought even given some of the command issues with the hit batsman, the two walks, if you look at some of the things that we value, there was a lot of empty swings, a lot more strikeouts.
“So I thought he was really good. That last hitter, he just left the ball up. If he gets it to the glove side, it’s a fly ball out or a swing and miss. I don’t want to look at just one throw to kind of capture his outing. For me, definitely a big step in the right direction.”
With the Dodgers not really playing for much after clinching the National League West, their focus has turned to getting ready for the postseason, which gives them an opportunity to treat the next two weeks like Spring Training to work on things.
For Lynn, that included focusing on his mechanics and trying to establish his four-seam fastball.
“I was able to do that, and it was a good first couple innings,” Lynn said. “So just kind of build off that. There wasn’t much of a game plan tonight. It was just go do my thing early on. You get in the playoffs, obviously there’s going to be a lot more game planning and things like that.
“Tonight was kind of let it fly and try to find a rhythm. I was able to do that early on.”
The Dodgers have been working with Lynn and talking about his mechanics and pitch grips since the trade. They already made some with him as they look to continue trying to unlock his potential and get back to form from when he was a Cy Young candidate.
“Trying to get back to what I was good at early on in my career, and starting to see signs of it,” Lynn said. “Hopefully in the next couple we can iron some things out and then be ready to go for a long playoff push.”
Dodgers trust Lance Lynn in playoff rotation
Even amid his struggles, the Dodgers expressed their confidence in Lynn as a member of their postseason rotation.
He is expected to be one of their three starters for the National League Division Series, joining Bobby Miller and Clayton Kershaw.
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