Athletics starter Paul Blackburn dominates Tigers

Paul Blackburn was as sharp as ever against the Tigers this afternoon
Oakland Athletics v Detroit Tigers
Oakland Athletics v Detroit Tigers / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

The Oakland Athletics beat the Detroit Tigers 4-0 this afternoon on the back of another scoreless outing from right handed starter Paul Blackburn.

Blackburn went 6 innings today, holding the Tigers to just 3 hits while notching 4 strikeouts and no walks. His 0.00 ERA remains intact across 13 innings pitched. The Tigers offense is plenty capable. Blackburn just had the right stuff today.

The A's would love for Blackburn to remain healthy all year. GM David Forst has come out and said they don't have any intentions of trading the righty.

However, with 2 years left before free agency, if Blackburn is pitching well as we approach the deadline, the A's will be hard pressed to keep him. That's especially true when you look and see pitchers going down left and right to Tommy John surgery.

Just today, we learned that Cleveland Guardians' ace Shane Bieber will undergo Tommy John and Atlanta Braves ace Spencer Strider has a UCL tear and is going in for a second opinion for a potential surgery.

If a number of teams are in need of pitching at the deadline, we have to think that Forst will be fielding offers for anyone on the staff pitching well enough to warrant consideration.

In addition to Blackburn, A's reliever Mason Miller threw 2 impeccable innings today. Miller threw 14 fastballs over 100 mph, striking out three batters and walking one.

At this point, we're just crossing our fingers and hoping Miller stays healthy because when he's on the mound those pitches are absolutely nasty.

There are guys out there who throw hard but their fastballs don't have any movement on them, making them hittable. Think Hunter Greene, who throws 102 mph but has posted a 4.53 ERA in 248 innings.

Miller gets good life on the four-seamer and has an excellent slider that's getting a ton of whiffs. Per Statcast, he's thrown 25 sliders so far this year and has a 77.8% whiff rate on the pitch. That's incredible. At the rate he's going, he's probably the odds on favorite to earn the A's All-Star invite this summer.

Elsewhere, Brent Rooker homered again this afternoon, his second in as many days. Also, Nick Allen now has 4 errors in 8 games. That's nearly half his total from 2023 when he played 104 games. For a guy lauded for his defensive prowess, he's having a difficult start to the season.

The A's are back at it again tomorrow afternoon. Righty Joe Boyle will take the mound for the A's, while Jack Flaherty gets the nod for the Tigers. First pitch is scheduled for 10:40 am PDT.