Paul Blackburn is in uncharted territory for his major league career. The Oakland A’s All Star has already thrown more innings in the majors this year than he had from 2018 through 2021 combined. While he has performed well overall, it is clear that he is starting to feel those effects.
Such was the case on Sunday as Blackburn struggled again. He allowed ten runs on ten hits and two walks over 4.1 innings, striking out five, as his issues in the Coliseum continued.
Paul Blackburn looking to find his mojo for Oakland A’s once again
That outing continued a rough stretch for Blackburn. He has a 6.71 ERA over his last 53.2 innings, allowing ten homers in that time frame. This time, he struggled with his mechanics as well, having problems locating his pitches and pulling his breaking ball as he was unable to find a rhythm on the mound.
It is something that Blackburn is also aware of, and not just on Sunday. He said that he has been “feeling out of whack” for the past two or three weeks, unable to carry over the feeling he is having in his work between starts to the games. His stuff may be good, but the command and ability to spot his pitches are not.
This should not be much of a surprise. Teams are adjusting to him now that there is an updated scouting report. At the same time, his extended run in the majors is far longer than he had been in Oakland before. He is wearing down as he is learning what is needed to have sustained success at the major league level.
The 2022 season was going to be rough for the A’s. Players were going to be learning on the job, trying to not only show that they could be a part of the future, but also attempting to figure out how to sustain that success. That is where Blackburn is now as he has hit the proverbial wall.
Paul Blackburn had been one of the better stories on the Oakland A’s. He now needs to get past the wall as he looks to recapture his earlier success.