OAKLAND, Calif. — Jesus Luzardo has played video games his entire life. The Oakland Athletics southpaw will continue to do so with gusto, even after the embarrassment of breaking a pinky finger on his pitching hand during play.
Luzardo has apologized to teammates and coach Bob Melvin for the accident that happened Saturday when he hit his hand on a table while playing a video game four hours before the start.
Luzardo is out indefinitely with a broken bone in his finger.
“I’m a 23-year-old kid, I make mistakes,” Luzardo said on Tuesday. “I feel like a lot of people don’t realize that we’re people too and we make mistakes, the same mistakes that fans make, the same mistakes that normal working people make.
“It was an immature mistake and it was a stupid mistake. But I still made a mistake and that’s something I’m going to learn from and I’m not going to do it again,” he said.
Luzardo noted that it wasn’t like he threw up his hand out of anger or frustration — it was just bad luck, he said.
During a videoconference call, Luzardo showed how his hand came out of his side and hit the top of a table, which he called a reaction to something that happened in the game. He did not share what game he was playing.
“There’s no way for me to describe this any other way than stupid and maybe immature,” he said. “I’ve never had anything like this and I don’t expect anything like this to happen again.
In hindsight, he might not have tried to cross it like he did against Baltimore. Even though his hand became swollen minutes after the injury, Luzardo convinced the A’s that he would be fine to make his start.
Luzardo gave up six runs and five hits over three innings to suffer a loss in the 8-4 loss to the Orioles.
“I said I was fine. Maybe subconsciously I had adrenaline. I wanted to go out there and throw, maybe that affected me,” Luzardo said. “I’m not one to make excuses, so I don’t think that’s the case. I thought I felt good.”
A post-game X-ray revealed a hairline fracture. He will use a splint to protect the finger – and in time he will return to his video game enjoyment.
“When I come back, I’m going to play. I’ve played video games all my life, this has never happened to me,” he said. “I don’t plan on hitting my hand again, maybe I’ll move a little further away from the table next time.”
He’s 1-3 with a 5.79 ERA in six starts this season.
Luzardo’s teammates supported the abnormal injury. He assured them all that “it won’t happen again”.
“I felt bad. I went there and apologized to the team. I said what I had to say, what I thought was right to say,” Luzardo said. “I felt like they were supporting me.”