Joey Lucchesi - Mets Pitcher (2021 - 2023)

Joseph George Lucchesi
was born June 6th, 1993, in Newark, California. 

The six foot five, left hander grew up a fan of the Oakland A's, during their Moneyball days. His favorite pitchers were Barry Zito, Mark Mulder & Rich Harden.

He attended Southeast Missouri State University & was the ace of their pitching staff, getting named the Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year in both, 2015 & 2016. 

He was selected by the San Diego Padres in the fourth round of the 2016 draft.

Trivia: His nickname is "Joey Fuego", he gained the name in college when he didn't have a sweater & was told to start a Twitter account, he used the name & it stuck.

He started 2017 at A ball Lake Elsinore & was promoted up to AA San Antonio, as he combined for an 11-7 record with a 2.20 overall ERA. 

In 2018 he made the Padres staff & was the first pitcher from the 2016 draft to make the big leagues. 

MLB Career: He debuted with his first career start, on March 30th, 2018 in the Padres second game of the year. He exited in after the 5th inning, having allowed three runs earning no decision. On April 10th he got his first career win, coming at Colorado. He would win three more games in April, including a 12-2 win over the Mets at Citi Field.

He would miss a month of action & make just one start at AAA El Paso before returning to the Padres rotation. 

For the year he made 26 starts going 8-9 with 145 strike outs in 130 innings, leading the staff in strike outs. He walked just 43 batters. He posted a 4.08 ERA & averaged just five innings per start.

He returned in 2019 to win ten games (10-10) on a Padre team that finished fifth at 70-92. He led the team in wins, starts (30) innings (163) & strike outs (158). He posted a 4.18 ERA, walked 56 batters & gave up 23 HRs.

In the 2020 Covid19 shortened season, he struggled early on & the Padres optioned him to
their alternate training site in early August. He pitched just three games going 0-1 with a 7.94 ERA.

On January 19th 2011, he was part of a three team trade, with the Mets, Padres & Pirates, that sent him to the New York Mets.

Mets Career: Lucchesi made his Mets debut on April 7th, coming in relief of an 8-2 loss to the Phillies in Philly.

On April 17th, he made his first Mets start, lasting just three innings allowing three runs on four hits, taking a loss in Colorado. His next start was similar, lasting three innings allowing three runs, but earned no decision, in a Mets loss at Wrigley Field.

On May 3rd, he fell to 0-2 getting rocked for six runs on seven hits, getting knocked out in the 2nd inning of a 6-5 Mets loss in St. Louis.

On May 8th, Lucchesi came in relief
of veteran, Tommy Hunter in the 3rd inning. Lucchesi would pitch 3.1 innings allowing just an unearned run & earning the victory in a 4-2 Mets win over Arizona, at Citi Field.

On May 15th, he took the loss giving up four runs by the 2nd inning. In his next start he was removed by the 4th inning, but had not allowed a run.

On June 4th, his old Padres team mate Manny Machado hit a 2nd inning HR off him. He took a loss despite only giving up the one run, as the Padres Blake Snell pitched seven shut out innings & the bullpen closed out the 2-0 Met loss. 

When the Padres came to New York, he held them to a run in five innings, striking out six. Once again despite a good performance, the bullpen blew it & the Mets lost the game. 

On June 18th he pitched 5.1 innings of shutout ball to the Nats in D.C. but once again was out pitched by Erick Fedde (seven innings) Kyle Finnegan & Brad Hand who shut out the Mets 1-0. Edwin Diaz took the Met loss in the 9th. In his last five starts of that year he never allowed more than one run, pitching into the 4th inning or beyond each time. In those games he got four no decisions & a loss to his credit as the Mets bullpen blew all but one of those games.

It turned out to be his last start, as he was diagnosed with a significant tear in his left elbow's ulnar collateral ligament. He underwent Tommy John surgery & his season was over.

2022: Lucchesi made his comeback in August & spent the rest of 2022 at AAA Syracuse pitching in eight games. He made four starts going 1-1 with a 2.13 ERA. 

2023: Lucchesi made three minor league starts at AAA Syracuse going 2-0 with a2.30 ERA. He was called up to make his first start in 672 days at the big-league level to help a Mets pitching staff that had 80% of their main starters unavailable due to injuries & suspensions.

Joey Lucchesi's return was a memorable one as he was fantastic using what was called his churve (a changeup curve) in front of around 50 members of his family & friends in his hometown area.

In the bottom of the 1st, Lucchesi got the first out then gave up a double to Wilmer Flores & he walked Darrin Ruff. He then got JD Davis to ground into a double play- Guillorme to Lindor to Alonso, ending any king of threat.

In the 2nd he walked the leadoff man, then got the next three batters ending the inning by striking out Heliot Ramos. In the 3rd, Brett Wisely led off with a base hit, but Lucchesi retired Thairo Estrada & got Wilmer Flores to hit into another double play Guillorme to Lindor to Alonso.

In the bottom of the 4th, Lucchesi recorded two more strike out in a 1-2-3 inning. In the 5th, around a Joey Bart base hit, Lucchesi struck out the side adding up to six on his night. In the 6th inning, a leadoff single led to Lucchesi getting another ground ball double play this time Baty to Guillorme to Alonso. He then got Darin Ruf to ground out to end that inning.

Lucchesi went where no Met starter had gone in the first twenty games of 2023, pitching into the 7th inning. Not only did he pitch into the 7th inning, but he also struck out the side in that inning to total nine K's on the night. 

In storybook fashion his return to the big leagues was epic, as he shut out the Giants for seven innings, with nine strike outs, two walks & giving up just four hits. He earned the win in the Mets 7-0 shut out.

Quotes- Joey Lucchesi: "I'm just super grateful to be here."

The Mets gave him plenty of offense. led by the hottest HR hitter in the game, Pete Alonso came up & hit his tenth HR of the year, a two-run shot giving the Mets a 4-0 lead. 

Alonso became the first Met to ever hit ten HRs in the month of April. In the top of the 9th, Pete Alonso came to bat with the bases loaded & delivered a two-run single giving him his second straight four RBI game.

In his next start Lucchesi gave up three runs in 5.1 innings to the Nationals in a 9-8 Mets win where he got no decision. On May 3rd he served up two HRs in Detroit, allowing four earned runs in another no decision in a Mets three game series loss to the Tigers. On May 7th, he gave up three runs to the Rockies at Citi Field, taking no decision in a 13-6 Met loss. 

On Saturday, May 13th he started a game in Washington, that was delayed by rain for over four hours before it was suspended by MLB. The next day the game was to be made up & Lucchesi was optioned to AAA Syracuse. He was 1-0 with a 4.43 ERA in five appearances.

Career Stats: In his five-year career he is 20-24 with a 4.25 ERA.  He has 366 strike outs with 120 walks in 360.1 innings in 75 appearances in 71 starts.


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