Jesus Luzardo passes test with Oakland A’s on Sunday
By David Hill
It is difficult to refer to any start in April as vital. However, for Jesus Luzardo, the Oakland A’s needed to see something in his outing against the Orioles on Sunday.
Luzardo had struggled in the beginning part of the season, posting a 5.89 ERA and a 1.582 WHiP over his 18.1 innings heading into Sunday’s contest. While he had struck out 21 batters, his command was not quite there, as his pitches were catching too much of the plate. As Mike Fiers nears his return, and the rest of the rotation has been rolling, Luzardo needed to have a strong outing to solidify his place.
Jesus Luzardo does his part for Oakland A’s
Luzardo had a bit of an up and down outing, but was generally solid. He completed six innings for the first time in 2021, giving the A’s a solid chance to win. Aside from an inability to keep Austin Hays in the ballpark, Luzardo actually pitched well.
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He lasted 6.2 innings, allowing runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out seven. Hays drove in three of those runs with his two homers, accounting for all of the damage when Luzardo was on the mound. His day came to an end on a positive note, striking out Cedric Mullins with two on to record the second out of the inning.
This certainly had to be encouraging for the A’s. Luzardo had been regarded as a dark horse candidate for the AL Cy Young despite his relative inexperience. However, he needed to show far more consistency than he did in 2020 in order to be a viable candidate for such an award this year.
As the A’s look to hold on to the AL West title, they will need Luzardo to step up and be the pitcher he had been expected to develop into. While there had been flashes of brilliance, those had been few and far between this season. Perhaps his outing on Sunday will be the start of his getting back to form.
The Oakland A’s needed Jesus Luzardo to show signs of progress in his outing on Sunday. While the winning streak was snapped, Luzardo did his part.