Lambert dazzles as Rockies avoid sweep in Chicago

Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Peter Lambert (23) pitches during the seventh inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field
Jun 6, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Peter Lambert (23) pitches during the seventh inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

It is always an exciting time when a top prospect makes his Major League debut and Thursday afternoon was no different for Peter Lambert and the Colorado Rockies.

In his first MLB appearance, Lambert was phenomenal as he led Colorado to a 3-1 victory over the Cubs. Between the solid pitching from Lambert and the timely hitting by the Rockies, they snapped a two-game losing streak and avoided a sweep in Chicago.

With the Rockies now back in the win column, let’s take a look at the takeaways from Thursday afternoons victory over the Cubs.

Peter Lambert made a tremendous first impression in a Rockies uniform 

Talk about a first impression for Lambert as the Rockies’ fourth-rated prospect dazzled on Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field. It started early and often for Lambert as he was great at getting first-pitch strikes, which led to weak contact by Cub’s hitters.

At one point in his outing, Lambert retired 12 consecutive Cubs before a Kris Bryant double in the sixth inning. Lambert ended up pitching seven innings, while giving up just one run and four hits to go along with nine strikeouts. Of his 95 pitches, 63 of them were strikes as Lambert commanded the zone all day long.

Not only was Lambert solid on the bump, but he also showcased his athleticism at the plate. In his first professional at-bat — on the first pitch he saw — Lambert roped it into right-center for a single.

It was just one start, but Lambert showcased why the Rockies drafted him in the second round back in 2015. Lambert was able to command every one of his pitches on Thursday and that is key when you pitch for Colorado and at Coors Field. If Lambert continues to do what he did in Chicago, the Rockies might have something special in their young starter.

Colorado’s bullpen slams the door to ensure Lambert’s victory  

When Lambert exited the game in the seventh inning, he was in line for his first major league victory as the Rockies held a 3-1 lead. With six outs to go, the Rockies bullpen took care of business as Jairo Diaz and Scott Oberg were brilliant.

Diaz ran into a little trouble in the eighth inning after allowing two base runners, but he worked out of it with a strikeout of Anthony Rizzo and a groundout by Javy Baez. With Wade Davis still on the injured list, it was Oberg who closed things out for the Rockies in the ninth inning.

This was the first time Oberg pitched at Wrigley Field since his 2018 Wildcard Game performance in which he struck out three Cub’s batter to lead the Rockies to the NLDS. Oberg made quick work of the Cubs as he sent them down in order to pick up his third save of the season and fifth of his career.

Diaz and Oberg’s solid pitching ensured that Lambert picked up his first major league victory as well. Not only did Lambert pick up his first win, but he also struck out nine, a Rockies’ record for most strikeouts in a debut.

Rockies take advantage of a Cubs miscue 

As the Cubs were creeping their way back into the game, the Rockies scored a big run in the seventh inning to push their lead back up to two runs. The score came courtesy of a Chris Iannetta sac fly to deep right field, which was made possible by a Bryant error just one batter prior.

Bryant’s error came on a Mark Reynolds fly ball to right field that got lost in the sun. With the baseball landing in fair territory, it allowed Reynolds to get to second base and Ian Desmond to move into scoring position at third base. Iannetta did his job and drove in the run, which gave the Rockies more run support for Lambert and the bullpen.

David Dahl continues to be really good at hitting 

Coming into Thursday afternoon, Dahl was nine for his last 17 at the plate, with four of those being extra-base hits. Dahl has been on fire over the last month and is now hitting .337 to go along with five home runs, 17 doubles, and 23 RBIs.

Dahl continued his torrid pace on Thursday as he finished the series with a 1-for-4 performance that included the Rockies first RBI of the game. While Lambert was doing his thing on the mound, Dahl was there to provide Colorado their first run of the game as he drove home Trevor Story on a sharp single to left field.

As the Rockies continue to find their groove offensively, Dahl is doing the same. With a three-game set against the Mets now afoot, don’t be surprised if Dahl and the Rockies continue to have success at the plate this weekend.

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