The San Diego Padres will take the field for one last time today, sending Joey Lucchesi to close out the season.
It all ends today. After a summer of 161 games, the San Diego Padres will conclude their 2018 season with one final game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. After splitting the first two games of the series, the Friars will send Joey Lucchesi to the mound to try and take the final series and end the year on a high note.
Fans at Petco Park and those watching at home will get to enjoy the Lucchesi churve one last time before it disappears for the winter. Of the 12 Padres pitchers who have started a game in 2018, Lucchesi has been one of the best, if not the best starter on this roster.
In his first 25 starts, Lucchesi has worked an 8-9 record with a 4.14 ERA, striking out 137 hitters across 124 rookie innings.
His funky delivery and captivating churve grabbed our attention from the start, but it was his success on the diamond that kept us coming back for more. In what has been a long season of disappointments, few successes, and some bad baseball at times, Lucchesi has been one player I eagerly await to watch. I hope I am speaking for a large portion of the fanbase when I say that.
After dominating through the month August, the long grind of a Major League Baseball season might be taking a hold over Lucchesi, who has struggled a bit in the month of September. He enters his final start with a 7.23 ERA this month, giving up 15 runs on 23 hits across 18.2 innings. On a positive note, he has continued to strikeout hitters at a high rate, fanning 23 in September.
Lucchesi is very familiar with the Diamondbacks, making his sixth start of the year against the snakes on Sunday afternoon.
Here is a quick breakdown of how each of those starts went.
- 4/22: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K
- 7/6: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
- 7/29: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
- 8/17: 4 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
- 9/4: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
In each of those outings, Lucchesi has been credited with the loss (0-5). What better way to end the season than to win your 9th game of the year, run your overall record to .500, and record your first win against a team that has seemingly given you fits all year?
That first strikeout seems like it was seasons ago, but lucky for us, the 6’5″ left-handed pitcher from Southeast Missouri State is just getting started. The 2018 season may not be quite over yet and there’s a long offseason to go with potential free agent signings and trades, however, Lucchesi is sure to be a serious contender for next year’s Opening Day role.