WASHINGTON -- The Cardinals had nine relievers ready for Game 4 of the National League Division Series on Thursday, as manager Mike Matheny deemed right-hander Lance Lynn available for limited use in relief.
Lynn's appearance lasted just one batter, but unfortunately for St. Louis, that one was Jayson Werth, who delivered a walk-off homer to lift Washington and force a Game 5.
Lynn threw 50 pitches in a three-inning relief appearance on Monday, which eliminated him as an option out of the 'pen in Game 3. In Lynn's absence on Wednesday, Matheny turned to rookie reliever Trevor Rosenthal in a situation that normally would have been Lynn's to cover.
Lynn seemed the likeliest candidate to slide into the rotation -- in place of Jaime Garcia, who has been sidelined with a left shoulder injury -- should the Cardinals advance to the NL Championship Series. In order to keep him open as an option to pitch early in the NLCS, Lynn likely won't be used for an extended relief appearance during the remainder of this series.
The short stint in Game 4 could almost serve as the equivalent of the side session Lynn would throw two days before a start. That means it would not affect Lynn's status for a potential NLCS start.