Peter Lambert made his Major League debut for the Colorado Rockies on Thursday afternoon and his performance certainly brought back some visions of yesteryear.
Flashback to August 23, 2001. That day, the Colorado Rockies made a late season call-up of a highly touted, right-handed starter out of Baylor University to make his Major League debut against the New York Mets.
That evening, the 23-year-old Jason Jennings went out and threw a five-hit, eight-strikeout, complete game in the Rockies’ 10-0 shutout over the Mets. To go along with his masterful performance on the mound, he also went 3-for-5 at the plate, including a home run over the right field fence at old Shea Stadium. This made history as he became the only pitcher in MLB history to pitch a shutout and hit a homer in his debut.
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That game helped Jennings propel himself to a Rookie of the Year Award the following season after winning 16 games. He also found himself to be a regular fixture in the Rockies’ rotation for five more seasons.
Peter Lambert‘s debut at historic Wrigley Field on Thursday may not have been as masterful or as historic … but it might be just as memorable. The baby-faced 22-year-old out of San Dimas High School (Calif.) threw seven innings of four-hit ball, striking out nine (a franchise record for a pitcher making his MLB debut) while only giving up one earned run and one walk in Colorado’s 3-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Not only was he good on the mound, he surprised everyone at the plate. In his first Major League at-bat, Lambert barreled a single into center field off Cubs’ starter Jose Quintana for his first hit and finished the day 1-for-3.
Lambert’s debut helped the Rockies avoid the three-game sweep by the Cubs and provided a quality start that the rotation was most desperately looking for. It may have been only one game, but Lambert definitely gave the Rockies something to remember. The only thing that would have made it better was if it was in New York.