Pablo Lopez had the perfect response to 14 strikeout game vs. Athletics

After cooking the A’s on Sunday, Pablo Lopez had the exact kind of reaction a team wants out of its ace.
Pablo Lopez nearly finished with a complete game win in Sunday’s Minnesota Twins vs. Oakland Athletics game.
Pablo Lopez nearly finished with a complete game win in Sunday’s Minnesota Twins vs. Oakland Athletics game. / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

It’s no secret that things haven’t gone all that well for Pablo Lopez so far this season.

He’s hardly lived up to the billing of being the ace of the Minnesota Twins’ starting rotation, and his struggles have been one of the hardest things to watch this year. Patience was wearing thing heading into Sunday’s game in Oakland, which is why Lopez nearly pitching a complete game shutout felt more amazing than it otherwise would have.

Lopez took a perfect game into the sixth inning and ended his day by matching a career-high in strikeouts. He ent down 14 Athletics hitters, allowing just two hits and looking every bit like the guy Minnesota needs him to be.

This comes after a stretch of games where Lopez looked totally off. He had given up 30 hits in his last five starts, owning a 11.25 ERA over the last week of action. One of his main issues this season has been giving up home runs like he’s handing out fliers on a street corner, but all of that reversed course in a pretty significant way against Oakland.

Lopez didn’t allow a home run for the first time since May 9th, knocked his ERA down to 5.11 and now owns a 1.17 WHIP. More importantly, he looked to get his groove back which is the big thing he seems to be focused on.

Pablo Lopez has perfect reaction to throwing 14 strikeouts in win over A’s

After the game Lopez talked about his performance and gave the exact type of response a team wants to hear out of its ace. He didn’t downplay how great he was or how amazing to felt to bounce back, rather he set his sights on the future and how to keep getting things back on track.

While the struggles for Lopez haven’t been fun to watch, this is another reminder of just how long the season is. Lopez is, and always has been, Minnesota’s ace and his stock was never one that anyone should have sold.

The emergence of Joe Ryan as a Robin to Lopez’s Batman has been a fantastic development, as has the rise of Simeon Woods Richardson as Louie Varland replacement at the back of the rotation. Lopez’s great start came a day after Bailey Ober bounced back in his own way to throw a complete game win, something that looks even better now.

Starting pitching carried the Twins to their first postseason win in nearly two decades last season, but it’s taken a bit of a step back this year. Performances like what we saw out of Lopez on Sunday are proof of life when it comes to the rotation bouncing back, and his comments after should make everyone feel a lot better about where things are headed.

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