Athletics' Cole Irvin reflects on falling short of initial 2022 goals

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Irvin reflects back on his initial goals for 2022 season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

After proving he belongs in the majors, Athletics left-hand pitcher Cole Irvin set a number of goals for himself heading into the 2022 MLB season.

While falling short of his most important objective, Irvin is still pleased with what he has been able to accomplish with the A's so far this year.

“Well, that was my goal. 200 innings [pitched] was the benchmark,” Irvin told Brodie Brazil and Dave Stewart on A’s Pregame Live on Thursday. “Don’t quite think I’m going to make it this year with missing two starts early in the year. But that’s what it is.”

Nonetheless, “Swirvin Irvin” is still making a name for himself in Oakland. And after trading away Frankie Montas and Lou Trivino, Irvin has stepped up and elevated on the mound.

And that’s an understatement for his masterful performance against the Miami Marlins on Wednesday.

Irvin allowed just three hits and collected a career-high 11 strikeouts over seven shutout innings in the A’s 3-2 win. It was Irvin's 23rd start of the year, and he'll carry a 3.16 ERA through 142 1/3 innings into his next outing.

“I want to bring back kind of the old style of pitching,” Irvin said. “Two hundred innings pitched, putting your team in a position to win every night and just being a reliable guy to take the ball every fifth day. And just have a simple approach and be as consistent as possible.

“I feel like last year I kind of went in and out of consistency. This year I feel like I’ve maintained a pretty good balance of being able to keep our teams in games on the road and at home. Even though the road ERA doesn’t show it, I’ve been pitching better than what it shows.”

While Irvin has a 1.94 ERA at the Coliseum this year, his ERA on the road is 4.88, so there's room for improvement.

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Irvin, who has appeared in four MLB seasons including two with Oakland, now is technically the most experienced starter on the team and has become the A's leader in innings pitched.

With the experience of last year under his belt, and a mid-season leadership shift this year, there's no doubt Irvin's goals can be accomplished next season.