Azcentral sports

Pair has been close since mi­nors

The Arizona Republic - - FRONT PAGE - SARAH MCLEL­LAN Reach the re­porter at sarah.mclel­lan@ari­zonare­pub­lic.com or 602-4448276. Fol­low her at twit­ter.com/ azc_m­clel­lan.

Bradley’s ‘bro­mance’ with room­mate Jake Lamb.

They were in High-A to­gether four years ago, de­vel­op­ing as prospects in the Diamondbacks or­ga­ni­za­tion in Visalia, Calif.

Right-han­der Archie Bradley told third base­man Jake Lamb when he fi­nally got called up, all he wanted to do was call his dad, Charles.

“Oh my God,” Lamb said. “That’s all I think about. I love my fam­ily, but be­ing able to call my dad, get­ting to tell my dad I made it ...”

The two clicked im­me­di­ately. Bradley and Lamb have pro­gressed at dif­fer­ent rates through the ranks be­fore even­tu­ally set­tling in as fix­tures for the Diamondbacks, but their friend­ship has been a con­stant amid a jour­ney that has the two of them play­ing the best base­ball of their ca­reers this sea­son.

“Call it a bro­mance,” Bradley said. “It started early.”

Lamb was the first to ap­pear with the Diamondbacks, mak­ing his ma­jor­league de­but in 2014. The fol­low­ing year, Bradley bought a house in Scotts­dale and ended up mak­ing the team out of spring train­ing.

“I bought this house with this vi­sion of be­ing in the big leagues at 22 years old, 23 years old, liv­ing with guys on the team and hav­ing ev­ery­thing you wanted when you were 13 or 14, and now you can af­ford it and en­joy it at like 22, 23,” Bradley said.

The pair be­came room­mates, and Lamb has tech­ni­cally logged more in­sea­son hours in Bradley’s place than Bradley, who was sent down in 2015 and opened 2016 in Triple-A. They like to spend their free time play­ing bas­ket­ball in the pool, chal­leng­ing other duos.

“Josh Coll­menter and Phil Gos­selin were the best team ever as­sem­bled,” Lamb said. “We’re sec­ond.”

They’re both com­pet­i­tive and fo­cused on their roles for the Diamondbacks. But when it’s time to leave the field, they eas­ily un­plug.

“We have a good bal­ance of show up to the field, do ev­ery­thing, be the best player we can pos­si­bly be, be the best team we can pos­si­bly be,” Lamb said. “But when the game’s over, the game’s over and we love talk­ing base­ball and ev­ery­thing. But we’re able to just shut it off and chill and have a life out­side of ball.”

The two also have their dif­fer­ences. Bradley has been a light­ning rod for at­ten­tion this sea­son as a dom­i­nant re­liever with a per­son­al­ity as bright as his red beard. Lamb has also been suc­cess­ful, get­ting named an All-Star for the first time and eclips­ing 100 RBIs in the heart of the Diamondbacks’ or­der, but he’s a qui­eter pres­ence in the club­house.

“He just ig­nores me,” said Bradley, who will rat­tle off ques­tion af­ter ques­tion about where they’re go­ing to eat un­til Lamb fi­nally says, “Dude, enough. Just chill. Not right now.”

Lamb likes to keep Bradley grounded, but dur­ing a sea­son that has flat­tered plenty of in­di­vid­u­als, Lamb has ap­plauded his friend – praise that has been ex­tra mean­ing­ful to Bradley.

“He’ll just be talk­ing, ‘That guy had no chance tonight. When I saw you warm­ing up, I was like, the game is over,’” Bradley said. “You kind of laugh but se­ri­ously, when you hear that from the guys you’re around ev­ery day and we re­ally are a fam­ily, the type of re­la­tion­ship and at­mos­phere we have go­ing there, that for me is the big­gest com­pli­ment I’ve got­ten this whole sea­son.”

PA­TRICK BREEN/THE REPUB­LIC

Archie Bradley

DAVID ZALUBOWSKI/AP

The Diamondbacks' Jake Lamb (above) has been close friends with re­lief pitcher Archie Bradley since they were prospects play­ing for High-A Visila four years ago. “Call it a bro­mance,” Bradley says of their friend­ship. “It started early.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.