The Oakland A’s needed someone to step up and provide some length in the rotation. Jesus Luzardo did just that on Wednesday.
Wednesday night was about Ramon Laureano. The Oakland A’s center fielder got his revenge against the Astros, his walk-off single lifting the team to a 3-2 victory. It was a fitting moment considering the events from last month, when he was hit multiple times with pitches and goaded into charging the Astros’ dugout.
That revenge has also overshadowed an important development for the A’s. On Wednesday, Jesus Luzardo did something he had not done yet in the majors – pitch seven full innings for Oakland and give the bullpen a needed rest.
This was just the second time since August 8 that an A’s starter lasted seven innings, with Chris Bassitt also pitching seven innings on September 7. Luzardo was excellent in his outing, allowing just two runs on four hits and a walk, striking out seven batters.
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Luzardo also desperately needed that type of outing. He had struggled in his previous start, allowing four runs on six hits in 4.2 innings. This has also continued a trend where he has followed a bad outing with a good start; his 6.1 scoreless innings on August 19 followed the worst start of his career.
Inconsistency is going to be an issue with any young starter. Even someone such as Luzardo, who is expected to be the A’s next ace, there will be bumps in the road. But it is a matter of how these pitchers bounce back, and whether or not they can turn the page on those rough outings.
Thus far, Luzardo has been able to do that. While the consistency is not there at this point, he has been able to overcome those rough outings. On Wednesday, he did that when the A’s needed it most, especially as they will need a rested bullpen for the gauntlet they are about to run.
Jesus Luzardo came through when the Oakland A’s needed him most. Hopefully, this can be a springboard for the rest of the year.