Lance Lynn grew up a Yankees fan in Indiana, so coming to New York fulfilled something of a childhood dream for him and his father.
``My dad [Mike] was a huge Yankees fan,’’ Lynn said Saturday after his third successful appearance for the Yankees since being acquired from the Twins for first baseman/outfielder Tyler Austin and minor-league pitcher Luis Rijo one day before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
Lynn did not get the decision Saturday in the Yankees' 5-3 victory over the Rangers, but he allowed only one run and five hits and struck out eight in five innings. After starting twice and relieving once, he has an 0.54 earned run average in 16 ⅔ innings and has fanned 22 batters.
Lynn has no idea why his dad gravitated toward the Yankees. "When I was growing up in the early '90s, he made me watch all the games,’’ the 31-year-old righthander said, "The Yankees always had an aura about them. For me, you liked [Andy] Pettitte, David Wells, Roger Clemens. And everyone loves [Derek] Jeter, so you can’t go wrong there.’’
Lynn is looking forward to next Sunday when the Yankees honor their 1998 World Series champions, who went 125-50 in the regular season and postseason. "I'm looking forward to meeting them,’’ he said. "When I was 10, 11 years old, I remember watching them play. It's going to be exciting meeting those guys.’’
The 6-5, 280-pound Lynn was placed in the bullpen when he arrived, but the continued ineffectiveness of starter Sonny Gray gave him the opportunity to join the rotation. Lynn was 60-28 with the Cardinals from 2012-15 before undergoing Tommy John surgery.
"When it's all said and done, when you get traded, you just want to come and help your new team win,’’ he said. ``Whatever they need from you, you do it. Early in my career [with the Cardinals], I started and relieved in the playoffs, so I'm capable of doing anything they need from me. As long as the team has a chance to win, you do everything you can to help.''
Against the Rangers, Lynn threw 99 pitches, 57 for strikes. He gave up three hits in the third inning, when Shin-Soo Choo doubled, went to third on a groundout and scored on a single by Elvis Andrus.
"They got some guys that can do some damage if you make a mistake, especially with fastballs,’’ Lynn said. "I was just trying to kind of slow them down a little bit, get some balls by them when I needed to. To get through five and have runners on every inning, I'll take it.''
So will Aaron Boone. "He was huge in Chicago in his first start going deep into the game and really picking us up,’’ the manager said, "Today, kind of grinding through it. He worked some deep counts, fouling a lot of pitches off, so he was only able to get through five, but we were kind of set up from the pen standpoint from there. He’s a pro. There's kind of a fearless to the way he goes out there and attacks.
"I thought his fastball was once again good. That's a tough lineup for him with a lot of lefties and a lot of quality lefties to go through, and again, I thought the fastball down and up, two- and four-seam were good. I thought he did a good job of mixing in today. [Also], he got some first-pitch strikes flipping in a breaking ball that was good.’’