PEORIA, Ariz. —
To unpeel the unique wiring of freshly-acquired Padres reliever Emilio Pagán, start with one of the most unlikely pitching victories in baseball history.
On May 7, 2014, the low-A Clinton (Iowa) LumberKings — Pagán’s team at the time — trailed the Burlington Bees 17-1 after five innings. Seven wild innings later, he had become a bewildered 20-17 winner.
“We were in Sports Illustrated for that game,” Pagán said Thursday at a new locker with a new uniform, his fourth in four big-league seasons. “They called us the Comeback Kings. You can use that game as a metaphor.