To say that Saturday night's result was uncharacteristic for Lance Lynn would be the understatement of the season.
The big righty's in the middle of a campaign that could end with him as the American League Cy Young winner. But Saturday's game highlights won't be sent out to voters, a shelling at the hands of the Crosstown-rival Chicago Cubs, who knocked Lynn around for seven runs as the Chicago White Sox lost a 7-0 blanking.
"Just a sh---y night on my part," said the uber-quotable Lynn.
It's hard to argue with that assessment, Lynn's outing looking all too similar to the one teammate Dallas Keuchel turned in a night earlier, when the lefty was scorched for six runs in the first inning and experienced the shortest start of his big league career. Lynn lasted five innings Saturday but didn't have any better luck, tagged for three home runs, including a grand slam.
And while the White Sox' offense made up for Keuchel's struggles in a bonkers 17-13 win Friday, the bats were silent Saturday, mustering just four hits over nine scoreless innings.
"When you give up three home runs and a grand slam, it's not going to be a good night," Lynn said. "Over the course of the year, I've been able to make pitches when I needed to. Tonight wasn't one of those nights.
"It's not good to suck. So you learn to don't let it happen again, because then it makes for a miserable couple weeks. So get myself ready to go for the next one and make sure I don't suck again. That's the plan."
Given how dominant Lynn has been all season, there's little doubt this will wind up a game of note. His ERA jumped from 2.20 to 2.59 on Saturday, though the latter mark still leads the AL.
He's shown an ability to bounce back from other rougher outings, following up a six-run, four-inning clunker against the Houston Astros with five consecutive starts of one run or fewer, and following up the four runs he gave up in the Field of Dreams game with one-run outings (of various lengths) against contenders from Oakland and Toronto.
This sour performance in the Crosstown series doesn't figure to alter the course of Lynn's to-this-point dependably dominant season, and the White Sox should remain expected to head into October with Lynn being one of the top reasons they could make a lengthy postseason run.
To quote Lynn — and the Eagles — Saturday was just one of those nights.
"Every once in a while, you need a slap in the face to get yourself going," he said. "Tonight was definitely one of those."