Lamet strikes out career-high 14 vs. Brewers

September 19th, 2019

MILWAUKEE -- The Padres hope to be a year from now where the Brewers currently find themselves: smack in the middle of a September playoff race.

If the Padres keep pitching the way they have against the Brewers this week, it’s not difficult to imagine that scenario unfolding next fall.

After made an impressive return from Tommy John surgery in the series opener and rookie phenom dazzled in the second game of the four-game set at Miller Park, got his turn Wednesday night.

The right-hander spun an absolute gem, striking out a career-high 14 batters as the Padres snapped a six-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory.

"Those are three arms who can pitch at the top of a rotation," Padres manager Andy Green said. "I don't know if we've really run three out in a row that ever felt like that at any point in time since I've been here.

“We've run some good guys out there who had some really good outings, but these are all guys with top-of-the-rotation stuff. When his stuff is on, Dinelson can pitch near the top of a rotation. We know what Garrett's capable of doing. Chris had a really impressive rookie year. All of them have really live arms with really overpowering stuff."

Starting for just the 13th time since he returned in July from Tommy John surgery, Lamet held the Brewers to one run on three hits and three walks while throwing 64 of his 98 pitches for strikes.

"I'm just trying to do my part," Lamet said. "We're a family here. We support each other. When somebody goes out and has a good outing, we want to go out there and do the best we can, too."

Lamet was dominant from the opening pitch and had five strikeouts after two innings of work. He got an unexpected boost in the third when shortstop ripped an 0-2 fastball off the top of the wall in right for his first career home run, giving Lamet and the Padres a 2-0 lead.

Starting for just the second time in his big league career, the rookie wasn't sure at first that the ball was going to go out.

"I hit it well but saw the outfielder, and I wasn't sure if it was going to go,” Mejias-Brean said. “So I sped up a bit. Then I saw it bounce over the top. It was a big relief.”

Lamet was thrilled, too.

"I wanted him to enjoy it,” Lamet said, “and after he hit that, I wanted to go back out there and do my part. I wanted to go out there, dominate and shut them down."

He did just that, stranding a pair runners after two walks in the bottom of the inning with two more strikeouts. In the fourth inning, Ben Gamel's two-out single in the fourth gave Milwaukee its first hit of the game. Lamet then fanned Cory Spangenberg to get out of that inning and added two more strikeouts to his total in the fifth.

Mike Moustakas looked at strike three to open the Brewers' sixth. Keston Hiura followed with his 17th home run of the season, cutting the Padres' lead in half, but again Lamet came up big, striking out two more to get out of the inning and bringing his night to an end.

"Keston Hiura put a really good swing on one pitch today,” Green said, “but other than that, there wasn't a lot of hard contact. It was one of those days you look up and he had 14 punch-outs before you knew it -- and he earned every one of them."

Lamet's 14 strikeouts were tied for the fourth-most by a pitcher at Miller Park. Ben Sheets holds the record with 18 against the Braves on May 5, 2016.

Lamet also became the 13th pitcher since 1908 to record at least 14 strikeouts in six or fewer innings.

"He was good," catcher said. "We were prepared before the game. The only thing we wanted to do was throw strikes. If he threw strikes, he'd be great and he was."

Lamet's performance almost went for naught.

In the seventh inning, Spangenberg reached on a leadoff walk by reliever , took second on Orlando Arcia's sacrifice bunt and reached third on Lorenzo Cain's groundout. Trent Grisham then struck out on a ball in the dirt, but first baseman bobbled Mejía's throw. Spangenberg momentarily scampered home with the tying run.

The umpires, however, convened and ruled that Grisham's foot made contact with the ball after his swing, ending the inning with the tying run stranded at third.

"I saw it right away,” Mejía said, “and that's why I didn't throw the ball at first, because I wasn't sure if the umpire would call it or not."