The Oakland Athletics finally lost a game on Sunday after notching 13 wins in a row, but there were still some good vibes remaining after the defeat, an 8-1 final against the Orioles in Baltimore.
Starting pitcher Jesus Luzardo had a strong performance, despite what the final score might lead one to believe. Here’s the lefty’s final ledger, per Martin Gallegos of MLB Media.
It’s kinda nice to see a starter have more than 100 pitches, especially a young starter such as Luzardo. He had eight strikeouts to just two walks, though he did allow a pair of home runs.
But looking closer, the 23-year-old Peruvian prospect allowed five hits to just two Baltimore players, Austin Hays and Cedric Mullins, and those two players were responsible for all of Luzardo’s three earned runs. It was Hays that hit both homers allowed by Luzardo.
Take a look at Luzardo in action, courtesy of ESPN’s Rob Friedman. Note the lizard walking on water at the end of the clip (Luzardo is known by some as the “Jesus Lizard”).
That’s elite location right there. Nasty stuff from the Jesus Lizard.
The Athletics must see more of that from Luzardo this season if they’re to contend for the AL West title, as they have in the early going. So while the A’s streak has come to an end, there was plenty of room for optimism moving forward. This game was closer than the final tally indicates, too, with the Orioles adding on late due to an error by shortstop Elvis Andrus and some poor bullpen work from right handed pitcher Deolis Guerra. The score was 3-1 heading into the eighth inning.
The Athletics acquired Luzardo from the Washington Nationals for closer Sean Doolittle, among other pieces in the deal, and Doolittle closed the World Series for the Nats. It’s only right, then, that Luzardo fulfill his promise. Amid Oakland’s loss on Sunday, all signs point to that ideal scenario coming to fruition.
(Photo credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports)