Oakland A's

A’s Matt Olson: Jesús Luzardo’s freak injury won’t keep him from pitching in the playoffs

When you’re in first place, it’s natural to be confident. Even if one of your starting pitchers injures his throwing hand playing video games.

Oakland Athletics first baseman Matt Olson didn’t let Jesús Luzardo’s recent freak injury dampen his mood. Not only did he throw some much-needed encouragement Luzardo’s way, he let the word “playoffs” roll off his tongue like the postseason is a forgone conclusion for Oakland.

Olson told reporters on Tuesday that Luzardo apologized to the team, calling the injury “extremely frustrating.”

Olson said he had an uplifting message to Luzardo in reply.

“He’s talked to some of the guys about it and you can tell obviously he’s not thrilled, you don’t want to be missing time,” first baseman Matt Olson said. “But I told [Luzardo] that things happen. We’re not going to care in May if he missed a couple starts to get things right when he’s got the ball in the playoffs for us. He’s one of our dudes.”

San Francisco Chronicle

Now that’s what I call a pick-me-up.

With the A’s in first place in the American League West with an 18-12 record, Olson is clearly feeling confident. Oakland is two games ahead of the second-place Astros entering play on Tuesday, and that’s got to feel great after the Athletics starting the season 0-6.

And the team’s good vibes are vital to absorbing a freak accident like this. I mean, talk about distracting. Video games? But Luzardo’s explanation is sensible, and the team kept rolling with a win against the Blue Jays on Monday. Also, Luzardo’s hand doesn’t require a cast, and he says he will be back soon.

It’s a long season, however, and the trick will be to keep their confidence — or at least not lose track of it — the remainder of the campaign. But for now it’s May, the A’s are in first place, and Olson says you can book a playoff appearance. Nothing wrong with that. It’s entertainment, after all.

(Photo credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

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