The Oakland A’s have been on fire lately. Their eight game winning streak has catapulted them back into the mix for the AL West and ahead of the Astros. For the most part, every member of the A’s has played a part in this return to form.
However, this run of success has not caught up with Jesus Luzardo. He had been considered a possible dark horse candidate for the Cy Young award this year, but has struggled to make a positive impact upon the A’s rotation. Thus far in 2021, he has posted an 8.31 ERA and a 2.000 WHiP in his 13 innings, striking out 15, but issuing seven walks and allowing three homers.
Jesus Luzardo hoping for success on Tuesday
Those struggles were particularly evident in Luzardo’s last outing. He allowed five runs on six hits and two walks over his 2.2 innings, striking out just one batter. Although the A’s were able to come back to take a 7-5 victory, that outing had to cause some concern.
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Luzardo is also in uncharted territory. Although this is his second major league season, it is his real first taste of what the regular season is like. He has gone through the normal routine of spring training, and is now looking to be set for a 162 game season. The pacing and preparation for the year are much different.
But that does not change the fact that he has struggled mightily this season. The command is not there just yet even though he had pitched relatively well in spring training. It is possible that having the extra day off on Monday will help, allowing Luzardo to clear his head while the seven inning doubleheader on Tuesday will potentially help him right the ship.
As the A’s look to return to the postseason and defend their AL West crown, they will need Luzardo to become the pitcher he is expected to be. He had been projected to develop into a top of the rotation arm, the next great Oakland ace. While he had a solid, but inconsistent, rookie campaign, the A’s need him to take that next step this year. So far, that has not happened.
Jesus Luzardo needs to be able to take that step forward for the Oakland A’s. While the team has found success recently, he has continued to struggle.