Petco Park- San Diego, California
In a season full of major league debuts, the San Diego Padres sent rookie left-handed pitcher Logan Allen to the mound on Tuesday to begin his big-league career.
Allen was promoted from El Paso where he had thrown well in spurts this season. After starting the year allowing 11 earned runs in his first two starts, Allen recorded a 1.91 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP from April 15-May 24. The PCL is a notorious hitters league, but the lefty has been useful for most of the year.
The Padres won the first contest of the three-game series behind the pitching of Joey Lucchesi who threw his best game in the major leagues on Monday. Lucchesi went seven shutout innings and held the high-profile Brewers’ offense in check.
Logan Allen would have his work cut out for him against Milwaukee on Tuesday. Brandon Woodruff would oppose Allen. The sinkerball specialist came into the game with an 8-1 record and a 3.87 ERA. He had struck out 96 batters in 81.1 innings pitched for the Brewers coming into the game.
A 95 mph fastball for a called ball against Lorenzo Cain was the start to Allen’s night and his major league career. Cain singled two pitches later off Allen. Not exactly a promising start, but Allen collected himself right away. Up stepped reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich who promptly swang at the first pitch and grounded a ball up the middle off of Allen’s glove for a routine double play. The next batter Ryan Braun grounded out to first base on a 105.8 mph grounder and just like that Logan Allen got through his first major league inning unscathed.
The game remained scoreless through the first four innings, as both Allen and Woodruff were on their game. In the bottom of the fifth, Logan Allen earned his first major league hit as he slugged a single to right to start the inning. He hit a 96 mph Woodruff fastball cleanly to right field. Allen said after the game that Woodruff was throwing gas. He described his velocity as a million miles per hour to the media.
Greg Garcia walked next in the inning, and Fernando Tatis Jr. singled to load the bases with nobody out. With the bags full of Padres, Eric Hosmer lined out to the third baseman Mike Moustakas who tried to double off Tatis at first. The throw from the third baseman sailed over the head of Jesus Aguilar, and Logan Allen trotted home and slid at the plate scoring the first run off the game. Manny Machado then slugged a double to right-center that hopped over the outfield wall scoring Greg Garcia. The Padres took a 2-0 lead, as Allen gathered himself to pitch the top of the sixth.
The left-handed pitcher worked his way around a leadoff single in the sixth to complete six shutout innings for the Friars. A double play off the bat of Ryan Braun ended the threat in the inning, and Allen walked off the mound pumping his fist. The left-handed pitcher typically shows emotion while he pitches. Tonight was no different.
Francisco Mejia added to the Padres lead with a two-run bomb to right-center field off of Woodruff that made the game 4-0 after six complete. Allen headed out to pitch the seventh, and what did the rookie do? He struck out the side, flashing a plus changeup that devastated Brewers’ batters all night. Allen pumped his fist again on the mound as the hurler recorded the last out of the inning. After the game, Allen told the media- He wasn’t nervous at first, but did get anxious just before the game started. “It didn’t really hit me (being nervous) until after I started getting dressed and putting my pants on,” Allen said. “It was an unbelievable experience and something I will never forget,” Allen told reporters. After the game, manager Andy Green told the media that the pitcher was more emotionally spent than physically exhausted. The manager beamed while speaking about Logan and the type of personality he brings to the team.
The Padres allowed a Brewers’ run to score in the eighth but held a 4-1 lead as Kirby Yates came on trying to secure his 26th save of the year. The closer worked a flawless ninth, as the Padres took the first two games of the series. The real story was Logan Allen and his major league debut. More hot lava is arriving in San Diego. Enjoy.
Game three is on Wednesday with Matt Strahm on the mound for the Padres.