During spring training, Peter Lambert told me that his focus during his time in Colorado Rockies camp had been on fastball command. Now, heading into the second Major League start of his career, he still believes that that has been his key to early success.
Peter Lambert burst onto the MLB scene last Thursday with a seven-inning outing that helped pace the Colorado Rockies to a 3-1 road win over the Chicago Cubs. He struck out nine and surrendered just four hits and a walk in his first time on a Major League mound. On Tuesday night at Coors Field, the Cubs will get another shot at the 22-year-old right-hander.
On Monday afternoon inside the Rockies clubhouse, I asked Lambert what he thought the Rockies saw in him that let them know he was ready to make the jump to MLB after 11 Triple-A starts this season.
"“I think it was my overall command and being able to use all of my pitches for strikes,” Lambert said. “Throwing them for strikes when I need them for strikes and throwing them for balls when I need them for balls. I think I’ve showed that early on.”"
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Of the 95 pitches he threw in Chicago, 63 went for strikes. Chicago batters hit just .160 against him at Wrigley Field as his fastball topped out at 95.6 mph.
Colorado manager Bud Black told reporters during spring training that he had visited with Lambert about every game being a test. So far, Lambert has passed his Major League test. However, he understands that one game’s success doesn’t mean it will come easy the rest of the way.
"“This game will humble you in a hurry,” Lambert said. “I understand that I need to not get too high and not get too low.”"
And what will be his mantra when he makes his Coors Field debut on Tuesday night?
"“Be myself. Don’t overpower anything,” he simply said."