San Diego Padres: Joey Lucchesi Impresses In Pro Debut
By Nick Stevens
Despite an Opening Day loss yesterday, San Diego Padres fans tuned in Friday night with just as much anticipation to watch rookie LHP Joey Lucchesi make his major league debut.
Tonight was Joey Lucchesi’s night. Taking the mound for the first time as a member of the San Diego Padres, Lucchesi finished just one out shy of going five innings and putting himself in line for his first career victory.
His final line on the night: 4.2 IP, 7 hits allowed, 3 earned runs, 0 walks, and one strikeout.
Lucchesi needed 23 pitches to get out of the first inning, surrendering two runs on three hits before getting Manny Pina to ground out and end the frame. According to Baseball Savant, all three base hits registered an exit-velocity of 103.8 mph or higher. Chalk it up to pure adrenaline coursing through his veins, however, Lucchesi lived in the middle to upper-middle part of the plate for the majority of his first inning, leading to the hard hits.
As his outing progressed and he began settling in and working lower in the zone, Lucchesi allowed only three batted balls to travel harder than 100 mph throughout the rest of the night.
His average fastball velocity sat between 90 and 91.3 mph as he worked his way through the fourth inning. Lucchesi began to slow down in the fifth, dipping down to 89 mph. After 75 pitches, Andy Green decided the rookie was done for the night. If it were not for a throwing error by Corey Spangenberg with two outs in the fifth inning, Lucchesi would have gotten himself out of the inning.
While he didn’t miss a lot of bats tonight, he did make Ryan Braun his first career strikeout victim with a little high-heat.
It may not have happened tonight, however, Joey Lucchesi will get his fair share of wins this season. Was it a shutdown performance? No, but it was a good one. Tonight proved that scouting reports on Lucchesi have been fair, he’s a solid back-end of the rotation starter. He may also be the second or third best option on the team this season.
Next: A Day of Firsts For Adam Cimber
The Padres return to action tomorrow at 5:40 pm PT. Fans can watch on Fox Sports One as Luis Perdomo makes his 2018 debut and the Padres look for their first win of the season.