Christopher Raymond Lambert
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 205 lb.
- School Boston College
- High School Manchester Memorial High School
- Debut August 26, 2008
- Final Game September 27, 2009
- Born March 8, 1983 in Burlingame, CA USA
After graduating from Memorial High School in Manchester, New Hampshire (where he also starred as a hockey player), pitcher Chris Lambert attended Boston College. He was a Big East Conference All-Conference pick as a freshman there, when he won both Pitcher of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors after going 9-3 with 87 K in 78 innings (51 walks, though) and a conference-best 2.76 ERA. Baseball America named him as a first-team freshman All-American, joining Philip Humber, Justin Verlander, Huston Street and Matt Durkin as the pitchers. He was 8-2 with a 2.71 ERA in his sophomore season, striking out 88 and walking 38 in 80 innings and again making the All-Conference team. In 2004, Lambert went 6-4, 3.02 and led the Big East with 107 strikeouts (a school record) in 92 innings. He again was an All-Conference pick and split Pitcher of the Year honors with Pitt's Nick Evangelista. Overall, his 282 strikeouts and 2.84 ERA were school records.
Lambert was the 19th overall pick (the highest ever for a BCU alumnus) in the first round of the 2004 amateur draft, going to the St. Louis Cardinals with their first selection. He was signed by scout Joe Rigoli for a $1,525,000 bonus and made his pro debut that summer. Initially assigned to the Peoria Chiefs, he went 1-1 with a 2.58 ERA, 46 K and 24 BB in 38 1/3 innings. The following summer, he was 7-1 with a 2.63 ERA in 10 starts for the Palm Beach Cardinals and pitched 2/3 of a scoreless inning for the US in the 2005 Futures Game. However, he then struggled after being promoted to the AA Springfield Cardinals, going 3-8 with a 6.35 ERA and 1.71 WHIP.
In 2006, the 23-year-old Lambert went 10-9, 5.30 for Springfield and 0-1, 6.75 in one start for the AAA Memphis Redbirds in July before his season was cut short in August by an injury. He began the 2007 campaign back with Springfield and went 0-2 with a 3.42 ERA in five starts before being promoted to Memphis in early May. However, he struggled with the Redbirds, going 1-4 with a 7.49 ERA in 28 appearances. On August 30th, the Cardinals sent sent him to the Detroit Tigers to complete a trade for Mike Maroth. He went on to make one late season start for the Toledo Mud Hens, throwing six innings, allowing just one hit, and striking out 10.
Lambert spent most of 2008 back with Toledo and won 12 games and struck out 124 while finishing fifth in the International League with a 3.50 ERA. He won five straight starts for the club from April 17th to May 8th and hurled three complete games over a four-start stretch in July. In late August, the Tigers called him up, and he made his big league debut on August 26th against the Cleveland Indians, allowing six runs (two earned) in two and two thirds of an inning and taking the loss. He went on to notch his first big league win in a September 7th start against the Minnesota Twins.