It’s been two weeks now since Jake Lamb has been the Oakland A’s third baseman.
He’s played six games at the Coliseum during that time. Sunday’s regular season finale against the Mariners will be the seventh.
And he’s still waiting for his Eric Chavez moment. His Josh Donaldson moment. His Matt Chapman moment.
Those A’s third baseman all learned to make the spectacular running, sliding or diving catch in the huge expanse of foul territory near third base part of their trademark moves.
Lamb, acquired from Arizona just before the trade deadline, knows that challenge is yet to come for him. It might announce its presence at any moment, the A’s playing the Mariners at home Sunday and then starting a wild card series at home in the American League playoffs Tuesday.
“I know how this works; I’m going to say I haven’t been tested about territory,” Lamb said Sunday morning in a video conference call. “And in the first inning today I’m going to get a popup in foul territory.
“Obviously I’ve noticed all this space, but I haven’t had a ball that I really had to bust for in foul territory. But that being said. I’ll probably get one today.”
In the course of coming from the Diamondbacks to the A’s, Lamb went to playing on a last-place team to a first-place once. He didn’t hit a lick in Arizona and wasn’t playing, but in replacing the injured Chapman at third, Lamb opened up with a seven-game hitting streak and with the A’s is a .256 hitter with four doubles and two homers.
If the fan can see new life in him, Lamb can feel it.
“It was a huge (boost),” Lamb said of the move. “Me and some of the guys were just talking about it. Granted it’s 60 games and it’s not 162 games, and with all the protocols and no fans, and a lot of the guys living in hotels all season, it’s been exhausting.
“But then to come to a winning team that’s headed to the playoffs. Yeah. It’s every bit of a refresh, a reset button, whatever you want to call it. It’s been awesome. Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what you’ve done in the regular season. Winning is the only thing that matters.”
Lamb said his season with the Diamondbacks was frustrating for him because “I knew I was hitting balls hard and seeing the ball really well.” But he was just missing and popping up a lot.
Since coming to Oakland, those attributes have made him a productive member of the lineup.
“I get benched (in Arizona) and that’s a battle,” he said. “But just talking to the guys when I came over here, I made a very minor adjustment. As far as the swing goes, I feel like when I put the barrel on the ball, good things are happening.”
Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3
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