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Third time not the charm for Lamb

September 12, 2010

Springfield, MO – Third time proves not to be the charm for John Lamb and Northwest Arkansas Naturals in yesterday’s game of the Texas League playoffs. Some coincidence was discussed, but no excuses came from the starter Lamb following a call home after Saturday’s loss to the Springfield Cardinals, Double-A team of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Photo credit - Colleen Lamb

 

It was his third time facing the Cardinals since his late July call-up to the Double-A level, Texas League. The third inning proved to be the end of the line for Lamb after allowing three hits, three walks and three strike-outs during his 47 pitch game total. With no outs and three runners on the bases, the third visit to the mound by the Naturals coaching staff forced the ball into the hands of Rowdy Hardy.

John’s shortest professional baseball experience finished with two plus innings allowing two earned runs while facing a mere 11 batters. This start will certainly sit in my gut, longer than his. Maybe he reached that inning threshold for the season that so many of us were trying to expect. I sincerely doubt that was the reason, nor does it really matter why Lamb was given a quick hook. Lamb was just not effective during his first Texas League appearance.

Hard to listen and pay attention after the third mound trip in the third, but the game really turned ugly in the fourth when the Cardinals placed a “snow-man” on the score board and the Naturals turned to another lefty in Brandon Sisk. Eduardo Paulino came in to replace Sisk in the fifth until Ben Swaggerty was called to get the Naturals last three outs in the bottom of the eighth.

The Naturals offensive surge in the ninth was too little, too late, and now forces a must win situation today in Springfield at 2:10 CT. Today’s game is available to hear on ESPN, 92.1 The Ticket through the Naturals site. Game four starter is recently acquired Will Smith for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, Texas League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.

The call home after the game was filled with frustration. No excuses came from my son about his struggles to throw strikes. It is not easy, at times, to be a positive and supportive parent during a professional baseball career when the game derails goals. The failure basis of the game can be difficult for everyone to digest, but it comes with the desire to wear a uniform. No whining here, just still happy to be a part of the Royals family through my son. The third time is not always the charm, but no Naturals are clearing out their lockers, yet.

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5 Comments
  1. September 12, 2010 13:15

    So the third time didn’t work out- never know when lucky charms happen- pesonally just ate a box- hang in there John no one gets it all the time!

  2. September 13, 2010 05:18

    Shelby,

    Thanks for the visit and comments…hope you have had the chance to connect with John during his stay in Arkansas this season 🙂

  3. September 13, 2010 11:01

    James,

    I was excited to get a chance to see John pitch. I’ve missed him a few times this year in the Texas League and Carolina League. So I was as disappointed as I could be to see him struggle. It seemed command was his biggest issue. It also seemed like it was due to some timing issues. He seemed to open up just a tad early.

    Of course the shoebox strike zone didn’t help any. Can you give me more of an idea what his curve does? To me it almost looked frisbee-ish in this start but I’m not sure if that’s accurate as he struggled with his command.

    I will give him a lot of credit though because he exhibited no emotion on the field about the rough outing. He didn’t get frustrated that the pitch that was a strike was considered to be a ball. He just got back on the mound and was ready to throw the next pitch. Sometimes we learn more about a player when he struggles than when he succeeds.

    Is John playing winter ball anywhere?

    Good luck tonight Monty! Go Naturals!

  4. September 13, 2010 12:40

    Drew,

    Glad you got the chance to see him pitch recently…too bad he was off with command and working deeper into the game. His CB continues to be the biggest challenge in his arsenal and I know he continues to work on repeating his release. I know he has the 1-7 angle in there, but getting to it in games has been a recent hurdle.

    Another spectator said the same thing about his timing during the last outing and I’m sure he was trying to make some adjustments, but the opportunity was limited by the hook.

    Happy to hear about the calm attitude during his work…John has always been pretty good about rolling with the game conditions.

    No news on the off-season plans by the Royals.

    GO NATURALS!

  5. Ron Eppes permalink
    September 13, 2010 13:27

    He’s had a great year. He is one of the guys I’m excited about seeing play at the ‘K’.

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