How filthy was Dinelson Lamet during the Padres’ 6-0 victory on Thursday night? Well, the Braves couldn’t quite believe it for themselves. So, with his club struggling to muster any offense in the top of the sixth, Atlanta skipper Brian Snitker asked that Lamet be checked for a foreign substance.
The verdict: Lamet’s stuff was real — and it was spectacular.
Lamet used his nasty three-pitch mix to shut down the Braves over seven scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and striking out eight. The rookie right-hander also brushed aside potential controversy with the poise of a veteran. Umpires inspected a dirt mark on the side of Lamet’s pants, quickly ruling that he had done no wrong.
“Some guys put the sunscreen and all of that,” said Snitker. “I didn’t know if he had something on there because he kept going to it all of the time. So, I just wanted them to check it.”
Said Lamet: “I just kind of smiled, because I knew they weren’t going to find anything. You’re going to see that mud on my pants before the game, you’re going to see that mud after the game. It’s just something I always do. I always touch my mouth, I always [touch] the mound.”
Lamet got right back to work and completed the longest outing of his young career. In fact, he might have been at his best in the immediate aftermath, punctuating the sixth inning with a nasty slider to get Matt Kemp looking.
“That’s their job to make me lose concentration. For me, it was just about staying focused out there, keep making pitches and getting outs.”
Wil Myers and Hunter Renfroe, continuing their duel for the Padres’ home run lead, made sure Lamet had more than enough offense to work with. Myers took sole possession in the third with a two-run shot off Braves starter Jaime Garcia. But Renfroe, who went 3-for-4, added a two-run blast of his own in the fifth, tying Myers with 16 dingers apiece. Fellow rookie Manuel Margot also had three knocks, his second consecutive multi-hit effort.
Garcia allowed six runs over six-plus innings, while striking out six. The Braves lefty has allowed six earned runs in each of his past three starts. He hadn’t allowed more than four earned runs in any of the previous 12 starts made this season.
“I’m very disappointed in myself,” Garcia said. “It’s a tough one. Those guys are good hitters at the top of the strike zone. I was trying to execute a changeup at the bottom of the strike zone [against Myers in the third inning] and it stayed up. It’s a tough one.”
On Tuesday, a misinterpretation of the Petco Park ground rules cost Myers a homer. He left no doubt Thursday. Myers crushed 1-0 changeup off the Western Metal Building, putting the Padres on top, 3-0, in the third. Upon his return to the dugout, a couple of teammates playfully informed Myers they thought the play should be reviewed. But — this time, at least — there was no need for it.
“I’m glad I cleared the wall,” Myers quipped. “There was no question about that one. I was happy there was no review.”
Even by Renfroe’s absurdly lofty standards, Thursday’s homer was a moonshot. Garcia tried to dot the outside corner with a changeup, and Renfroe crushed it 444 feet to straightaway center field. It was the longest homer of Renfroe’s young career and the longest at Petco Park this season.
Mike Foltynewicz will be on the mound when a three-game series in Oakland begins Friday at 9:05 p.m. CT. Foltynewicz has allowed two earned runs or fewer in four of his past five starts.