Former Phillies pitcher spins shutout in debut for World Series champs

Michael Lorenzen has a strong showing in his first start for the Texas Rangers.
Former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher and now Texas Rangers starter Michael Lorenzen
Former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher and now Texas Rangers starter Michael Lorenzen / Mike Mulholland/GettyImages
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It was a very long offseason for former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Michael Lorenzen. The one-time no-hitter-throwing hero of last summer was cast aside by the Phillies after the season ended, and he didn't find a job until close to the end of spring training. He eventually signed with the Texas Rangers on March 22.

Despite his late start to the season, Lorenzen came out firing in his 2024 debut for the reigning World Series champions on Monday. According to MLB.com's Steve Kornacki, the right-hander had only three minor league starts before making his Rangers debut.

Former Phillie Michael Lorenzen spins shutout in debut for World Series champs

Lorenzen faced 20 batters over five innings of shutout baseball, allowing just three hits while striking out four. The only blemish on his night was the five free passes he issued. But that didn't stop him from stymying his former team — no, not the Phillies, obviously — the Detroit Tigers. The Rangers bullpen did the rest, leading to a 1-0 win, the 32-year-old's first as a Ranger.

Lorenzen also got help from his teammates, as his defense bailed him out of sticky situations with three double plays.

“Jonah called some really good pitches back there and was able to get us out of some sticky situations,” Lorenzen said postgame, per Kornacki. “Let’s pitch to contact and challenge them. I’m happy with how I handled those situations.”

While he had a soft landing against the Tigers in his first start, he won't be so lucky in his second outing. He's scheduled to face the Atlanta Braves on Sunday Night Baseball.

After his incredible start last season with the Phillies, who acquired him from the Tigers at the trade deadline, Lorenzen finished his two months in Philadelphia with a 5.51 ERA in 47 1/3 innings as he faded down the stretch.

The long-time Cincinnati Red is now in his 10th MLB season, and there's a chance Phillies fans will see him pitching in Citizens Bank Park again this year. The Rangers visit Philadelphia for a three-game series from May 21 to 23.

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