Joseph George Lucchesi graduated from Newark (CA) Memorial High School in 2011 and played two seasons at Chabot College before attending Southeast Missouri State...At Southeast Missouri State became the first pitcher in conference history to win back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year awards...As a senior was named a Second Team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association...His 149 strikeouts his senior year set a new school and conference record and his 242 career strikeouts broke the Southeast Missouri record... Pronounces his last name loo-KAY-see...Gained fame for a pitch he calls a “churve”...He holds it deep in his palm like a classic circle changeup, and for most of his college career, that’s all it was – a basic changeup...Early in his pro career, he began tinkering with his wrist action as he threw it, snapping off the pitch like a breaking ball...It soon became his go-to put-away weapon...Per Statcast, his churve had an average 8.9-inch vertical drop in 2019, which was the most movement of any pitcher’s changeup by more than a full inch...In 2021, the Mets celebrated reaching base by holding up the grip for the churve...Trying to scheme up a creative Twitter handle while at Southeast Missouri State, asked his college teammates for a nickname...One of them suggested “Fuego,” and years later, he still goes by the pseudonym...Gets a haircut the day before every start...When he arrives at a new mound, he prefers to spend time on the mound and visualize the start...He did it in college before every Friday night start...Also calls his father, Kenneth, before each start and the two talk through the next day’s game...Would have wanted to work with his father, an engineer, if he did not play pro baseball...His favorite player was Barry Zito growing up because of his 12-6 curveball...Is a big Golden State Warriors fan...Grew up playing basketball and loves the sport...His favorite players were Baron Davis and Monta Ellis...Enjoys playing video games and watching movies...His favorite movie is "Step Brothers."...His favorite snack is pistachio nuts.
Pitched for the first time since undergoing "Tommy John" surgery in June 2021...Made eight rehab appearances across three minor league affiliates, posting a 2.13 ERA (three earned runs/12.2 innings)...Struck out 12 batters and walked three.
Suffered a torn UCL in his left elbow during his final start of the season, June 18 at Washington...Underwent Tommy John surgery on June 24...In his final five outings of the year (May 22-June 18), put up his five longest and strongest starts of the season...He pitched to a 1.19 ERA (three earned runs/22.2 innings) with 24 strikeouts and just six walks in that span...Of the 111 other pitchers to throw at least 20.0 innings in that span, just two had a lower ERA: Jacob deGrom (0.33) and Sean Manaea (0.84)...It was the lowest ERA he's posted in a five-game stretch in his career...Made his Mets debut in relief on April 7 at Philadelphia, tossing 2.0 scoreless innings...His next appearance was his first start of the year, April 17 at Colorado...Tossed 4.0 shutout innings, allowed just one hit and racked up a season-high eight punchouts on May 22 in his start against Miami...In relief, Lucchesi owned a 5.14 ERA (four earned runs/7.0 innings) in three games...Opponents hit .231 (6-26) with a .695 OPS when facing him in relief...As a starter, he totaled 31.1 innings with a 4.31 ERA (15 earned runs/31.1 innings), a .248 BAA (28-113) and a .729 OPS against.
Appeared in three games for the Padres...Made two starts at the beginning of the season before being optioned...Returned to the major league roster to make one more appearance (0.1 inning in relief) on Sept. 16.
Lucchesi led the SD staff in games started (30), IP (163.2), wins (10) and SO (158)…the 10 wins were the most by a Padres SP since Jhoulys Chacin's 13 in 2017...Among all qualifying ML pitchers in their home parks, his .183 opponent AVG ranked 5th and his .565 OPS ranked 6th...Lucchesi tossed at least 5.0 IP in 24 of his 30 outings, going 10-5 with a 2.91 ERA (45 ER, 139.0 IP) with SD going 13-11 in those outings...Was 1 of just 2 NL starting pitchers to not allow a run through his first 10.0 IP on the season (also: Jacob deGrom)…went a combined 2-0 with 13 SO to 3 BB in his 2 starts vs. SF (March 29) and ARI (April 3)...Tossed a career-high 7 IP on 3 occasions (April 15 vs. COL, May 17 vs. PIT and June 17 vs. MIL)...On May 24 at TOR, he became the 17th ML pitcher and 5th Padre to make a start in the USA, Mexico and Canada… joined Andy Ashby, Joey Hamilton, Fernando Venezuela and Tim Worrell as Padres to do so…he tossed 6.2 IP of 3-hit, 3-run ball behind a career-high 11 SO but did not factor into SD's 6-3 victory...he was hitless through the 1st 4 frames before surrendering back-to-back homers in the 5th inning to Freddy Galvis and Lourdes Gurriel Jr...Lucchesi got the win on his 26th birthday on June 6 vs. WSH, 3 days after Eric Lauer got the win on his 24th birthday on June 3 vs. PHI…the duo became the 1st Padres teammates to win a game on their birthday in the same season, and the 1st teammates in the majors to do so since BOS' Josh Beckett (May 5, 2012) and Andrew Miller (May 21, 2012)…prior to Lauer and Lucchesi, the last Padre starter to get the win on his birthday was Colin Rea on July 1, 2016 vs. NYY...Among all ML pitchers to toss at least 70.0 IP both at home and on the road, Lucchesi's -3.66 ERA differential from road (6.22) to home (2.56) ERA was tied for the 2nd largest with Adam Wainwright, trailing only Steven Matz (-4.31).
Lucchesi (pronouced: loo-KAY-see) was selected to the ML roster on 3/30 and started SD's second game of the season that same day vs. MIL, becoming the first pitcher of the 2016 draft class to make their ML debut...Led the SD staff in SO (145) and ranked second in starts (26) and IP (130.0)...Among all ML rookies, ranked third in SO, tied for fourth in starts, tied for fifth in wins (eight) and sixth in IP...Became the 19th rookie in Padres history to reach the 20-start plateau in a single season…teammate Eric Lauer became the 20th rookie to do so later in 2018, marking the first time SD has had two rookies make 20-or-more starts since 1977...it has now been done five times (also: 1969, 1972 and 1974)...His 145 SO, along with Lauer's 100 SO, accounted for the first pair of SD rookies to surpass the 100-SO mark in the same season since Bob Shirley and Bob Owchinko in 1977...The 13 pickoffs between Lucchesi (three) and Lauer (10) were the most by a Padre rookie duo in franchise history...Among all ML pitchers who tossed at least 130.0 IP and made 25 starts-or-more, he allowed the fourth-fewest baserunners (172), behind only Chris Sale (150), Jordan Zimmerman (168) and Clayton Kershaw (170)...Earned his first ML victory in his third career start on 4/10 at COL, allowing two unearned runs on four hits and one walk with eight SO…became just the seventh pitcher in SD history to not allow a single earned run in at least 6.0 IP at Coors Field (last: Christian Friedrich, 6/12/16)...it has been done so eight total times, with Oliver Perez accomplishing the feat twice (7/7/02 and 9/7/02)...Logged a 1.66 ERA and a 2-0 record through his first four starts from 3/30-4/15...the last SD pitcher to have a sub2.00 ERA over his first four ML starts was Odrisamer Despaigne in 2014 (1.35)...Went on to allow three earned runs or fewer in eight of his first nine career outings from 3/30-5/14, posting a 3-2 record with a 3.23 ERA (17 ER, 47.1 IP) and 9.13 SO/9 IP...Placed on the 10-day DL on 5/15 with a right hip strain and missed the club's next 32 games before being reinstated on 6/20...made one rehab start for Lake Elsinore (A) on 6/14 vs. Rancho Cucamonga...Went 1-3 with a 3.60 ERA (8 ER, 20.0 IP) over his final five starts of the first half from 6/20-7/11, limiting hitters to a .187 average and 9.45 SO/9 IP...Optioned to El Paso (AAA) on 7/12 to make a start over the All-Star break (7/18 at Albuquerque) before being recalled by SD on 7/23...Went 4-4 with a 4.88 ERA (34 ER, 62.2 IP) over his 12 second half starts, posting 76 SO against 18 BB with a .280 opponent average...When tossing at least 5.0 IP, he went 8-4 with a 2.86 ERA (33 ER, 103.2 IP) with the Padres 11-8 in those 19 outings… when tossing 6.0 IP-or-more he went 4-0 with a 1.47 ERA (6 ER, 36.2 IP) with the Padres 5-1 in those six outings… when he tossed less than 5.0 IP, he went 0-5 with a 8.89 ERA (26 ER, 26.1 IP) with SD 0-7 in those seven outings...His 81 runs of support were tied with Clayton Richard for the most on the club…received three runs of support or more on 14 occasions, posting an 8-0 record with a 2.61 ERA (22 ER, 76.0 IP) in those starts...Went 5-4 with a 3.89 ERA (32 ER, 74.0 IP) across 15 starts at Petco Park, 3-4 with a 4.24 ERA (24 ER, 51.0 IP) in 10 road starts and 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA (3 ER, 5.0 IP) in his one start at Monterrey Stadium...His 4.90 ERA (41 ER, 75.1 IP) against the NL West was his highest ERA against a single division...Opponents hit .230 (20-for-87) against him with RISP, .195 (8-for-41) with RISP/2 out and 0-for-5 against him with the bases loaded.