Paul Blackburn was originally signed by Cubs scout Scott Fairbanks…graduated from Heritage High School in Brentwood, Calif…went 8-3 with a 1.27 ERA as a senior and tossed his first career no-hitter against Deer Valley.
Was limited to just six starts with Oakland due to two stints on the disabled list…began the season on the DL with a strained right forearm, went 2-3 with a 7.16 ERA in six starts from June 7 to July 6 and then missed the remainder of the season with right elbow lateral epicondylitis… walked six batters in 27.2 innings, an average of 1.95 per nine innings…allowed a .303 opponents batting average, including .283 (13-for-46) against right-handed hitters compared to .317 (20-for-63) against left-handers…issued just one walk to a batter leading off an inning but allowed a .300 batting average in that situation…had a .327 opponents average the first time through the lineup, .222 the second time and .467 after that…yielded a .225 batting average and both of his home runs with the bases empty, .447 with runners on…had a .375 opponents average with runners in scoring position…was 2-1 with a 5.93 ERA in three starts at home, 0-2 with an 8.36 ERA in three starts on the road…began the season on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right forearm…was transferred to the 60-day DL April 5 and was sent to Single-A Stockton on a rehab assignment May 31…started that day against Modesto and had a no decision in the Ports 6-3 win (3.2 ip, 8 h, 3 r, 3 er, 1 bb, 1 so, 62 pitches)…was reinstated from the DL June 7 and allowed one run in 6.0 innings for the win that day against Kansas City…then went 0-2 with a 12.71 ERA over his next three starts from June 13 to 24…it was the first losing streak of his career…allowed a career-high eight runs in a career-low 1.1 innings in a 13-5 loss to Houston on June 13…tossed 6.1 shutout innings for the win on June 29 against Cleveland…struck out a career-high five batters against the Indians, ending a career-opening streak of 14 consecutive starts of four strikeouts or fewer and more than one inning pitched…that was the longest such streak by an A's pitcher in 86 years (21, Tony Freitas, May 31-Sept. 18, 1932)…allowed six runs on seven hits in 4.0 innings for the loss July 6 at Cleveland in his final appearance of the season…was placed on the DL July 8 retroactive to July 7.
Made both his Triple-A and Major League debuts in 2017…spent the first three months of the season at Nashville where he went 5-6 with a 3.05 ERA in 15 games, including 14 starts…was promoted to Oakland July 1 and compiled a 3-1 record and a 3.22 ERA in 10 starts before a right hand contusion ended his season Aug. 23…struck out just 22 batters in 58.2 innings with the A's, an average of 3.38 per nine innings…that was the lowest mark in the majors among pitchers with 50 or more innings pitched…it was second lowest by an A's pitcher over the last 27 years (Saarloos, 2.99 in 2005)…went 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA and .212 opponents batting average over his first five starts through July 26…then went 2-0 despite a 4.39 ERA and .315 opponents average over his final five starts…allowed a .262 opponents batting average, including .225 (23-for-102) against left-handed hitters compared to .294 (35-for-119) against right-handers…yielded four of his five home runs to righties but issued 11 of his 16 walks to lefties…had a .585 OPS against lefties, .773 against righties…was 2-1 with a 1.47 ERA and .222 opponents batting average in five starts on the road compared to 1-0 with a 5.14 ERA and .301 opponents average in five starts at home…logged a 1.50 ERA over the first three innings of a game, a 5.02 ERA from the fourth inning on…opponents hit .133 with runners in scoring position and two outs…had a .212 opponents average the first time through the lineup, .294 after that…was 3-0 with a 2.84 ERA in five starts on four days rest, 0-1 with a 3.67 ERA in five starts on five days rest or more…allowed one run or fewer in five of his 10 starts and four runs or more four times…the A's were 6-4 (.600) in his starting assignments.
OAKLAND: Made his Major League debut July 1 against Atlanta and had a no decision in the A's 4-3 loss…allowed just one unearned run in 6.0 innings of work and retired 14 of the final 16 batters he faced…tossed a career-high 7.2 innings and allowed one run in the A's 7-4 victory at Seattle July 6 to earn his first ML win…walked one batter in each outing to become the first Athletics pitcher since at least 1913 to toss six or more innings, allow one run or fewer and walk one batter or fewer in each of his first two games…is the eighth Major Leaguer to do it…was charged with his first loss in a 7-5 decision at New York (NL) July 21…tossed seven scoreless innings and allowed just two hits July 26 at Toronto but had a no decision in the A's 3-2 loss…left after seven innings with a 2-0 lead but Casilla allowed three runs in the ninth for the blown save and loss… combined with Dull, Casilla and Treinen on a six-hit shutout in the A's 5-0 win at Los Angeles (AL) Aug. 5…tossed 6.2 innings and yielded five of the hits…did not walk a batter for the first time in his career…tossed 4.0 innings Aug. 16 against Kansas City to snap a career-opening streak of eight consecutive games of more than five innings pitched…that was the second longest such streak in Oakland history to Willie Adams, who had a 10-game streak in 1996…tossed 4.0 scoreless innings in his final start Aug. 22 at Baltimore and left the game early with a right hand contusion…was placed on the 10-day disabled list Aug. 25 retroactive to Aug. 23 and missed the remainder of the season…was transferred to the 60-day DL Sept. 5.
NASHVILLE: Ranked second in the Pacific Coast League in ERA (3.05) and fourth in opponents batting average (.231) when he was promoted to Oakland July 1…was named to the PCL Midseason All-Star team…went 4-2 with a 1.84 ERA over his last eight starts after going 1-4 with a 4.54 ERA over his first seven games (six starts)…his opponents batting average included a .216 (33- for-153) mark against right-handed hitters compared to .247 (36-for-146) against left-handers… lefties had 24 of the 32 RBI against him…allowed a .321 batting average with runners in scoring position, including .400 with RISP and two outs…was 3-4 with a 3.80 ERA and .269 opponents batting average in nine games at home, 2-2 with a 2.08 ERA and .177 opponents average in six starts on the road…surrendered five of his six home runs at home…was 4-3 with a 2.54 ERA in 11 games at night, 1-3 with a 4.30 ERA in four starts during the day…compiled a 3.95 ERA over the first three innings of the game, a 2.09 ERA from the fourth inning on…struck out a seasonhigh eight batters in back-to-back starts on April 15 against Colorado Springs and April 21 at Oklahoma City…picked up his first win April 28 against New Orleans and went 1-2 despite a 1.64 ERA and .195 opponents batting average in four starts in April…made his only relief appearance on May 8 against El Paso in a game started by Daniel Mengden on a rehab assignment…allowed three runs on four hits and two walks in 4.0 innings…put together consecutive wins for the only time on May 19 at Sacramento and May 24 against Omaha…tossed 6.0 scoreless innings against the River Cats (2 h, 2 bb, 4 so) and 7.0 scoreless innings against the Storm Chasers (5 h, 2 bb, 6 so) as part of a 14.0-inning scoreless streak from May 19 to 29…had the scoreless streak snapped when he allowed a season-high tying six runs on a season-high 10 hits in 5.0 innings on May 29 against Colorado springs…finished May 2-3 with a 5.12 ERA in six games…threw a season-high 100 pitches June 9 against Memphis…walked a season-high four batters June 15 against Iowa… started the second game of a June 20 doubleheader against New Orleans and pitched a seasonlow 2.0 innings…compiled a 2-1 record and a 1.75 ERA in five starts in June.
Began the season at Double-A Tennessee in the Chicago Cubs organization and was 6-4 with a 3.17 ERA in 18 starts when he was traded to the Seattle Mariners organization July 20…was assigned to Double-A Jackson and went 3-1 with a 3.54 ERA in eight games (seven starts) with the Generals…combined for a 9-5 record and a 3.28 ERA in 26 games (25 starts) overall…surrendered just eight home runs in 143.0 innings, an average of 0.50 per nine innings…ranked fourth in the Southern League in fewest walks per nine innings (2.12), tied for fourth in games started, sixth in ERA and innings pitched and tied for eighth in wins…tied for the lead among SL pitchers with 40 total chances…was named to the SL Midseason All-Star Game after going 4-2 with a 2.53 ERA in 14 starts before the All-Star Break…went 5-3 with a 4.18 ERA in 13 games (12 starts) after the break…allowed a .256 opponents batting average, including .252 (69-for-274) against right-handed pitchers compared to .259 (69-for-266) against left-handers…opponents hit .217 with runners in scoring position…combined for a 3-2 record and a 4.50 ERA in 14 games (13 starts) in his home ballparks…was 6-3 with a 2.16 ERA in 12 starts on the road…went 1-for- 15 (.067) with two strikeouts as a hitter with Jackson.