This was Jonathan Loaisiga’s most important game of his professional career, and he arrived to Yankee Stadium early on Friday. That wasn’t what he was there for, though. He was there for something else entirely: to get a taste of the big leagues.
When the World Cup was over, he went back to watching Spain and Portugal play each other in a thrilling encounter. Later, Loaisiga appeared on a field with 45,112 supporters and wowed them with his own act.
Despite being just 23 years old, Loaisiga tossed five perfect innings in the Yankees’ 5-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays and established himself as yet another yankee talent to watch.
As the crowd roared after every huge fastball, Loaisiga held the Rays to three hits and four walks while striking out six.
A bases-clearing double in the eighth inning by Gary Sanchez helped the New York Yankees win their opening game of the season. “To me, it didn’t seem like his first start,” Sanchez said. “He was incredible,” a friend gushed.
Only a dozen hitters into the game did Loaisiga allow a hitter to get a hit, and he accomplished so with 91 pitches, 57 of them strikes.
For the first time since Sam Militello in 1992, a New York Yankees pitcher has recorded at least five scoreless innings in his debut. For the first time since Masahiro Tanaka in 2014, he has won his first start for the Yankees.
As a pitcher born in Nicaragua, Loaisiga is now only the 15th player, and the 11th born there, to make it to the big leagues.
El Presidente, a moniker given to Dennis Martinez, was the most well-known. He pitched in the major leagues for 23 years and once threw a perfect game for the Montreal Expos.
Not very elegant is the nickname given to Loaisiga. His teammates started calling him “Jonny Lasagna” after he earned a professional contract, he added.
A long way to go before Martinez is mentioned, but he stated that many people back home in Nicaragua were following the game on the MLB app, with as much excitement as fans in New York City.
Is Jonathan Loáisiga Married?
Jonathan Loáisiga’s marital status is unknown because of his secrecy about his personal life.