ST. LOUIS -- A month after nearly being pulled from the starting rotation, Lance Lynn is now preparing to start Game 2 of the Cardinals' National League Division Series.
Manager Mike Matheny informed Lynn of the assignment on Tuesday, shortly after Lynn showed up for the Cardinals' afternoon workout. He'll follow Adam Wainwright in the postseason rotation, drawing Friday's start at home against the Pirates at noon CT on MLB Network.
The Cardinals have not announced how the rest of their expected four-man rotation will line up for the NLDS.
"At this time of year, you don't care when you start," Lynn said. "You're looking forward to it. It's the playoffs. It doesn't matter when or where you get to pitch, as long as you get that opportunity."
It was after abbreviated starts against the Pirates (Aug. 31) and Reds (Sept. 5) that Lynn's rotation spot looked particularly tenuous. But he had a bounce-back performance against the Brewers on Sept. 11, the first of four consecutive quality starts to end the year. In those four outings, Lynn allowed just 19 hits and three earned runs in 24 2/3 innings.
The Cardinals went 3-1 in those games.
That recent string of success, coupled with Lynn's splits when pitching at home (9-3 with a 2.82 ERA) vs. on the road (6-7 with a 5.15 ERA), went into the Cardinals' decision to give him Friday's home start.
"I think it's something that he's earned," Matheny said. "Right now, I think he also has a great amount of confidence and that's something he's going to be able to take to another level. He's been very consistent here in his last couple starts and really has a good tempo and feel off the mound."
There's also an experience factor. Though just 26, and in his second full season in the Majors, Lynn has already been through two postseason runs. He came back from an oblique strain to pitch out of the bullpen in 2011. Last year, Lynn relieved in the Wild Card game and NLDS before starting twice in the NL Championship Series.
"This year, I'm going in knowing what I'm doing and what my job is," Lynn said. "It should be a little easier to get in a routine and get everything right."
Lynn said he didn't plan on watching the Wild Card Game on Tuesday, believing that a one-game playoff may not be the best indicator of approach during the upcoming best-of-five series. He knows the opponents quite well already, too. Ten of Lynn's 33 starts this season came against the Pirates and the Reds.
"The way he's been rolling, it's a good fit," Matheny said. "We have some good options and we really feel good with any of the guys out there any day."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less