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Giants @ Rockies, 7/16

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Pomeranz (2-9, 6.42 ERA) vs. Lambert (2-1, 6.67 ERA)

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Colorado Rockies Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

This is the face of Peter Lambert...Peter Lamb

... the child-faced pitcher who will pitch like a man tonight against the Giants.

At least, that’s what I’ve already pre-written in tonight’s recap. That’s right, I’m back to ruin the recaps. The Giants are on a tear, scoring runs without mercy and holding onto a 1-run victory in Coors Field and rather than have the game recapped by the soothing analysis of Kenny or the enthusiastic review of Brady, it’s... it’s me.

This will be Lambert’s seventh major league start. The right-hander has a 6.67 ERA in 29.2 IP along with a 6.72 FIP. Not great. He’s allowed nine home runs in these 29.2 innings, too. Also, not great. Really bad, in fact. But he is still a rookie pitcher the Giants are seeing for the first time, and we know that’s going to be a problem. Just how might he flummox the Giants?

He’s got a 20:7 strikeouts to walk ratio, or 2.86, which is really pretty good. Jeff Samardzija’s at 3.07, Noah Syndergaard’s at 3.67, and Robbie Ray, whom the Yankees are said to have interest in, has a 2.59 ratio. We’re dealing with a really small sample there, and the fewer walks might just be mitigated by the nine home runs, but a guy who hangs around the strike zone and gets a lot of ground balls (51.6% in Triple-A this year, 44.1% so far in the majors) might be just what the Rockies need tonight in order to give the Giants a different look.

For his minor league career (97 starts, 506 IP), he has a nearly 4:1 K to BB ratio, but just a 7.5 K/9. That strongly suggests he’s a sinkerballer, but Statcast says that’s not the case. He’s a 4-seam, changeup, curve, and slider mix guy, meaning he relies on spin, location, and sequencing to keep hitters off balance.

It should also be said that the Padres are the only sub-.500 team he’s faced so far this year. The other teams? On either side of San Diego is twice the Cubs, twice the Dodgers, and then his most recent start came in Colorado against the Astros.

Here’s who will be backing up young Lambert:

RF — Charlie Blackmon
SS — Trevor Story
3B — Nolan Arenado
1B — David Murphy
CF — Ian Desmond
LF — Raimel Tapia
2B — Ryan McMahon
C — Chris Iannetta
2B — Ryan McMahon
SP — Peter Lambert

If he can’t get out of the fourth inning tonight, this might be Drew Pomeranz’s final start. He last pitched on July 5th against the Cardinals, allowing four runs on six hits (including two home runs) and four walks. It was brutal. He’s completed at least five innings in just seven of his 16 starts this season; although, it happened twice against the Rockies, just in San Francisco.

1B — Brandon Belt
C — Buster Posey
3B — Pablo Sandoval
LF — Alex Dickerson
SS — Brandon Crawford
RF — Mike Yastrzemski
CF — Kevin Pillar
2B — Joe Panik
SP — Drew Pomeranz