08/19/12 2:35 PM ET
Matheny working with Lynn on harnessing emotions
By Jenifer Langosch and Mike Still / MLB.com
Lynn's command was not at its best, evidenced by three straight walks issued in the fourth to load the bases. But that was not Matheny's biggest concern.
What the Cardinals' manager did feel needed to be addressed with Lynn was how he handled adversity, and how Lynn may have let his emotions get the best of him on the mound.
"It's not the kind of game he wants," Matheny said on Sunday. "I think the bigger message really was that's not how he needs to respond when games start to go in that direction. It's just a part of the maturing process."
Lynn was noticeably both pumped up and frustrated at different points throughout the game. He clapped his hands together and threw his arms up after striking out Erik Bedard to escape that jam in the fourth inning. But Lynn also appeared "defeated," as Matheny put it, when his command waned.
"We can't help but see it," Matheny said. "The thing is, that leads to how the umpire views the strike zone and views you and your team. That's how the opposition sees you, a chink in the armor. No good comes from that. It's the consistency that's needed on the mound all the time. His stuff's too good."
Matheny hopes the conversations he, the coaching staff and Lynn's teammates have with the 25-year-old right-hander can help him harness his emotions.
After winning 10 of his first 13 starts this season, Lynn has gone 2-1 with a 4.58 ERA since the All-Star break.
"When you win your first however many games, everything's going great. But you really find out, and the league finds out, a lot about when you don't have your best stuff," Matheny said. "How are you going to compete? And competing really comes down to how you handle that adversity, whether it's a tight zone, whether it's plays not happening behind you.
"He needs to pay close attention because there's little things he's missing in his game. Once he puts it all together, to me I see a really good, long career. But, to me, there's still some things I see that need to be fixed."
Browning reflects on first win after six years in Minors
ST. LOUIS -- Barret Browning very quietly earned his first Major League win on Saturday, allowing zero hits and fanning two in an inning of relief against Pittsburgh.
Browning wasn't aware of his achievement until a teammate mentioned it after the game, and Browning didn't receive a game ball or any memento as Jason Motte tossed the final out into the stands after closing out the ninth.
"It'll be alright," Browning said of missing out on getting the game ball as keepsake. "We'll get more of them."
Browning spent nearly six full years in the Minors before getting called up from Triple-A Memphis on June 30. The 27-year-old left-hander has made 20 appearances with the Cardinals this season, posting a 4.00 ERA entering Sunday.
Browning admits there were times in his career he doubted he'd ever reach the Majors. But now he's living out his dream, and getting the win on Saturday was just a reminder of the long road he took to St. Louis.
"Every day up here makes it worth it," Browning said. "Obviously, I would prefer to win games and pitch well, but every day I wake up and put on this uniform and that makes it worth it. That was the dream, to play Major League Baseball. I've accomplished that. So every day I get to wake up and live that dream out."
Herzog pays a visit to Hurdle, Leyva
ST. LOUIS -- Former Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog visited the Pirates' clubhouse this weekend to visit Pirates manager Clint Hurdle and bench coach Nick Leyva. Leyva was Herzog's first-base coach from 1984-85, while Hurdle played under Herzog in St. Louis in '86 and for three years before that in Kansas City.
Hurdle hit .195 with 15 RBIs in 78 games for the Cardinals in 1986, which turned out to be the second-to-last season of his career. On the final day of the year, Hurdle apologized to Herzog for the poor performance.
"I said, 'I'm sorry I didn't do better,'" Hurdle said. "He was like, 'Aw, Clint, don't worry about it.' It's the same thing I tell guys now."
"I don't remember that," Herzog said. "He probably did, though. He was some kind of ballplayer [with] hitting potential that was out of this world. He was something."
And as a manager?
"I always thought, with the way he expressed himself and how he handled himself, he'd be a hell of a manager," Herzog added. "I'm happy to see he's done that."
Matheny said right-hander Joe Kelly is available and ready to make his first relief appearance of the season if needed on Sunday. Matheny said there aren't any particular situations Kelly would be used in, as Kelly has proven himself capable of handling difficult spots in his 12 starts this season.
"Preferably, I'd not like to see him in the third or fourth," Matheny joked. "But he's gonna be ready. No really preconceived idea on what kind of use we'll have for him. We'll just wait and see how it all plays out. Because of how he's thrown, we're not afraid to use him."
Skip Schumaker started at second base and batted seventh on Sunday, making his first start since going 2-for-4 against Arizona on Tuesday.
Matheny said he and Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak have had "preliminary" conversations on how the club will handle roster moves with potential callups in September. Matheny said he expects those talks with Mozeliak to be more specific toward the end of St. Louis' current homestand and into its next road trip beginning Aug. 24.
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.