Athletics' pitching staff implodes in blowout loss to Guardians

The Oakland Athletics had a bad day, losing 12-3 to the Cleveland Guardians

Cleveland Guardians v Oakland Athletics
Cleveland Guardians v Oakland Athletics / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

The Oakland Athletics got shredded by the Cleveland Guardians this afternoon, losing by a score of 12-3. The Guardians scored in six different innings, notching runs off five different Athletics' pitchers.

Starter JP Sears had a rough go, getting through just 3.2 innings while allowing 5 runs on 6 hits and getting just a single strikeout. The A's will need quite a bit more out of the lefty moving forward.

There's such limited depth in the system to begin with but add in the fact that the A's already have six pitchers on the IL and it makes it that much more difficult. The A's are going to run into big trouble if the guys they're relying on to pitch 5-6 innings each time out are getting knocked out of the game in the 3rd and 4th inning.

The same thing has happened to each of the Athletics starters during this series. Alex Wood got bounced after allowing 6 runs on 7 hits in 3.2 innings on Thursday. Meanwhile, Ross Stripling made it through 5 innings on Friday evening but gave up 5 runs on 7 hits in the process.

Sears was a candidate to start for the Athletics on Opening Day. We made the case for him here at White Cleat Beat and when Alex Wood went out and had a stinker on Thursday night, it felt justified. Seeing Sears struggle with this Guardians offense that was 27th in the league in runs scored last year does not inspire confidence.

The Guardians got a couple of cheap runs today after Nick Allen made a poor throw on a routine ground ball trying to get reliever Dany Jimenez out of the 5th inning. Guardians' first baseman David Fry scored on the play and catcher Austin Hedges doubled Arias home one batter later. Those two runs made the game 7-3 in favor of the Guardians and it was never close after that point.

In addition to Sears and Jimenez, relievers TJ McFarland and Mason Miller got toasted today as well. The pair gave up two runs each and allowed 7 hits between them. Miller had looked sharp this spring and comes into 2024 with sky high expectations thanks to his elite velocity and breaking stuff.

His first outing of 2024 will be one to forget, however. Miller will need to be sharp in order for the Athletics' bullpen to be effective. There are a couple interesting names in the pen this year but none have the skill set or upside that Miller has. He should be able to put this outing behind him and come back stronger next time out.

The Athletics will be back at it again tomorrow afternoon trying to avoid getting swept to start the year. The Guardians will send Carlos Carrasco to the mound in his first appearance of 2024. Carrasco had a down year with the Mets in 2023, pitching to a 6.80 ERA in 90 innings around a pair of injuries.

The Athletics will run with Paul Blackburn, who will be looking to make a big leap forward this summer. Blackburn has maxed out at 111.1 innings in a season thanks to a bevy of injuries. The A's could certainly use the help so if Blackburn can stay healthy, it would be a massive boost for the organization.

First pitch tomorrow is scheduled for 1:07 pm PST.