Remembering Mets History (2023) Joey Lucchesi Returns After Two Years to Pitch Seven Shut Out Innings & Pete Alonso Becomes First Met to Hit 10 April HRs


Friday, April 22nd, 2023: Joey Lucchesi came to the Mets as in January 2021 in a three-team trade with the Padres & Pirates. He went 1-4 with a 4.46 ERA in eleven appearances, with eight starts. 

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. 

That June he was diagnosed with a significant tear in his left elbow's ulnar collateral ligament. He underwent Tommy John surgery, was out for the rest of the season & most of the next. Lucchesi made his comeback in August 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 a 2.30 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 or suspensions.

Tonight, for Buck Showalter's Mets (13-7) Joey got the start in his home area of Northern California going up against Gabe Kapler's San Francisco Giants (6-12). He had about 50 invited family members, including his parents & friends in attendance.

The Mets were on a roll having won seven of their last eight, six of seven on this California road trip. 

Joey Lucchesi's return was a memorable one, one of the best outings of his career. On this night we kept hearing about a pitch he called his churve (a changeup curve) that would dominate the Giants.

In the bottom of the 1st, Lucchesi got the first out then gave up a double to Wilmer Flores & a walk to 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 K's 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 his amazing 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, in the top of the 2nd Luis Guillorme started it with an RBI single. 

In the top of the 5th Guillorme got his second hit & was moved over by a Brandon Nimmo sacrifice. Jeff McNeil then hit a squibbler in front of the plate, catcher Joey Bart hit him with the throw to first & allowed Guillorme to score for the second Mets run.

Then 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. 

Trivia: 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. Alonso now had 23 RBIs in 21 games while batting .293.

 Daniel Vogelbach added an RBI single topping off the Mets scoring.

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