Watching video pays dividends for Lamb

Watching video pays dividends for Lamb

DENVER -- What lefty John Lamb figured out on Wednesday had less to do with what he did so well on the mound during his career-high seven innings for a 7-2 Reds victory over the Rockies. It's was what Lamb did leading up to the start.

Lamb put more effort into his preparation. For the first time in his career, he admitted, he watched video.

"I shared with [Dan] Straily that for the first time in my career at this level, I felt like I was prepared out there. I watched video on the opponents and them failing, and it gave me a little bit more hope and optimism moving forward with my stuff," Lamb said. "That's the fully open and honest version of why I would hope nights like tonight could continue to happen."

Lamb allowed one earned run and six hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Watching video was the suggestion of pitching coach Mark Riggins. Previously, Lamb relied on his own stuff and focused on attacking hitters, which was something he learned in the Royals' system.

"That's something that was almost taught at a developmental level in the Minor Leagues, that you just go out there and be the best version of yourself and let the chips fall where they may," Lamb said. "I know through the ups and downs here, and failure mostly, I know that I've got to do a little more than that."

Entering the start, Lamb was 0-3 with a 6.85 ERA and the Reds were winless in all five of his outings after he returned from offseason back surgery. Manager Bryan Price has hinted change might be coming in a rotation that has struggled for consistency.

None of the video, Lamb said, was of his fellow Reds pitchers getting pummeled during Tuesday's 17-4 loss in which Colorado belted seven home runs and 14 extra-base hits.

"He did a great job, and much needed," Price said. "It was an essential outing for him, not just coming off of last night, but for him. He hasn't had a great start to his season. We could certainly use that type of influence in our rotation."

Lamb had a 1-0 first-inning lead when a leadoff single and DJ LeMahieu's double quickly tied the game. But after that, Lamb never faced more than four batters an inning and one runner reached second base.

Lamb struck, stays in game

Also impressive was the fortitude Lamb showed in the fourth inning. Ryan Rayburn scorched a line drive off Lamb's left hip for a single, and it had the pitcher limping for several moments around the mound. According to Statcast™, the ball left Raburn's bat at 105 mph. On May 21 vs. the Mariners, Nelson Cruz hit a ball off Lamb's shoulder at 106 mph.

"I'm starting to realize I have a glove too, though. That ball came back quick," Lamb said of the Raburn hit.

After being looked over by Price and head trainer Steve Baumann, Lamb stayed in the game. He faced one batter over the minimum the rest of the way with one more hit allowed.

Between innings, Lamb kept moving in the dugout so his leg wouldn't stiffen.

"I wanted to be out there," he said. "Physically, I could feel it, but it didn't take much or anything away from what I was doing. So I'm just happy I could stay out there."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.