San Diego Padres: Lamet exceeding expectations, offense finding groove

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 23: (L-R) Jabari Blash
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 23: (L-R) Jabari Blash /

The San Diego Padres are winning, and they’re winning with a combination of fearless young pitching and a lineup finding consistency.

By a final of 5-2 Sunday, the Padres played a strong game all around to take down the Giants in San Francisco once again, taking three of the four games in the weekend set. With the win, the Friars finish 3-4 on the seven game road trip, and now return to Petco Park with a homestand ahead.

San Diego can often pinpoint exactly which part of the club came through most in the majority of their recent victories. This game, however, was an all around team win, starting with starting pitcher Dinelson Lamet.

Lamet went six and 2/3 innings on Sunday, surrendering eight hits but only two runs. Most impressive was his command, walking just one Giant hitter and striking out six. The performance was good enough for a win, the 25-year-old’s fourth on the season.

The right-hander is in his first major league season, and was thrust into action when veteran Jered Weaver went down. Lamet has filled in nicely as the staff’s fifth starter, all things considered. Though his ERA remains inflated at 6.40, the improvement is evident over every start.

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Lamet is ahead of schedule, mainly because he’s throwing strikes. In his 94 pitches Sunday, 63 were strikes. Command has allowed the native of the Dominican Republic to go deeper into games, which is good for everybody.

In the midst of all of this, the unique element of the recent San Diego success is that it’s not just improved pitching which deserves recognition, but the offense which is finding a groove. Wil Myers is hitting again, especially against Giants. Shockingly and somewhat humorously, the 2016 All-Star has more home runs at AT&T Park than some of San Francisco’s most powerful hitters.

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Beyond the star Myers, it’s the unexpected parts of the lineup that are coming through most. Hector Sanchez, Cory Spangenberg, and Jabari Blash drove in runs on Sunday, and have done so all week. Second baseman Carlos Asuaje also contributed with two more hits, and is hitting .319 so far this season.

Quite possibly the most encouraging part of all of this is that the Padres aren’t going to lose any of these players to contenders at the trade deadline. This is homegrown talent getting it figured out, which is the most rewarding kind of rebuild.

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Yes, the Padres are beginning to play good baseball again. Yes, it’s the last place Giants, but this strong stretch dates back to before the All-Star break, when the Padres won seven of ten. Hopefully, the Colorado series is behind them and San Diego is back on track as they head home.

The offense sure is, and young starters like Lamet are most certainly doing their part.