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Lamet's lament? Rookie still not satisfied

Padres righty didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning
MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- Even after one of the best starts of his young career, Dinelson Lamet wasn't satisfied.

The rookie right-hander continued to dominate opposing lineups in the Padres' 8-4 victory against the Phillies on Tuesday night. Matching a career high with seven innings, Lamet held Philadelphia without a hit until the fifth, allowing only three total hits. He gave up two runs, the fifth straight time he's allowed three or fewer runs.

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SAN DIEGO -- Even after one of the best starts of his young career, Dinelson Lamet wasn't satisfied.

The rookie right-hander continued to dominate opposing lineups in the Padres' 8-4 victory against the Phillies on Tuesday night. Matching a career high with seven innings, Lamet held Philadelphia without a hit until the fifth, allowing only three total hits. He gave up two runs, the fifth straight time he's allowed three or fewer runs.

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In those five starts, Lamet has a 2.37 ERA, each outing building on the one before it.

"I haven't really gotten satisfied," Lamet said through a team interpreter. "I feel like every start, I'm going out there and just turning the page, shutting the mind off and then moving on from the last one and going on to the next one, so [I'm] never being satisfied with what's already happened and continuing to work."

The recent run followed a seven-start stretch during which Lamet had a 7.46 ERA. But he's grown. Manager Andy Green said Lamet's fastball command Tuesday was the best he's seen it, with Lamet attacking both sides of the zone. His slider has proven to be a devastating out pitch and continued to be one Tuesday, causing five of his seven strikeouts.

"It was a very similar story to what he's been the last number of times out," Green said. "Just threw the ball really well, mixed in the fastball and slider mostly. Slider's real. He threw some down in the zone that were filthy, that nobody had a chance on."

With a two-run laser over the center-field wall with two outs in the fifth, Jorge Alfaro ended Lamet's bid for history, but only on Tuesday night. With the stuff he possesses, it's easy to pick Lamet as the likeliest of current Padres to twirl the first no-hitter in franchise history.

Lamet, too, doesn't lack for confidence.

"I don't think I'm going out there thinking I'm a rookie or thinking I can't compete," Lamet said. "I'm going out there thinking like I'm a veteran and believing in myself."

Working with catcher Hector Sanchez has proven beneficial for Lamet. With Sanchez behind the plate, Lamet has a 2.38 ERA.

Sanchez credited their success together to their shared language and thus ability to communicate. Of course, Lamet's stuff doesn't hurt.

"He's great, man," said Sanchez, who homered Tuesday. "He's got pretty good pitches, especially his slider.

"I feel great that I'm behind the plate, not hitting against that guy." 

Nathan Ruiz is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego

San Diego Padres, Dinelson Lamet