Frederick, MD – In his Carolina League debut, Dylan Bundy was victorious in front of the largest crowd since 2006 as the Keys defeated the Salem Redsox 5-3 Saturday. Bundy went his scheduled five innings and gave up two runs, six hits, and recorded six strikeouts. The fastball topped out at 98 mph.
“I felt great,” Bundy said. “I had all my pitches working. My fastball, curveball and changeup. I had pretty good command for the most part all night. I pitched pretty well.”
The runs came on a Travis Shaw two-run home run in the fourth inning. The blast was the first two runs the 19-year-old has given up in his professional career.
“It was a 1-1 pitch and it was a fastball trying to go in on him,” he said. “I left it over the middle of the plate and he took advantage of it.”
The big key was his pitch selection in Frederick. In his final start in Delmarva on May 20, Bundy threw 58 pitches (55 fastballs). Saturday, the Orioles top pitching prospect threw 78 pitches (16 curveballs and seven changeups). He was very efficient with his pitches as 53 were for strikes.
“There are better hitters in this league,” Bundy said. “They actually have a plan going up to the plate. They try to get their pitch, so you have to be able to keep the ball low in the zone.”
The Keys were able to score three runs in the fourth after the home run to retake the lead and put Bundy in line for the win. Kipp Schutz, who was transferred back to Frederick after Catcher Adam Davis was placed on the disabled list, hit a solo shot to tie the game at two. Trent Mummey gave the Keys the lead with a two-run double.
The Keys manager couldn’t be happier with Bundy.
“I thought he threw the ball outstanding,” Orlando Gomez said. “He had good command of his pitches. I was not only impressed with his fastball, but definitely also his curveball. I saw he had a major league curveball today.”
The fourth inning was the true test for Bundy after he gave up the homer to Shaw. Any other 19-year-old pitcher who gives up a blast might not be able to come back and focus right away; especially after it ruined a scoreless streak of 33 innings. Bundy isn’t the average teenage pitcher. He retired the next three hitters.
“That is what happens sometimes,” Bundy said. “Giving up your first run or two it’s going to happen to everybody and now I can just continue to pitch my game.”
– “The one thing I was really impressed about was he never lost his composure,” Gomez said. “He was there, and he had runners on base. He knows his game. There were some pitches that were very close and when they were called a ball he never lost it. He has a big heart and he’s going to be a heck of a pitcher.”
Regardless of the performance, the Orioles planned for Bundy to go five innings, so the bullpen had to be sharp in order to keep Bundy in line for victory. The bullpen did their job. Jason Gurka pitched an inning of scoreless relief in the sixth and struckout one hitter. Prospect Clay Schrader threw two scoreless innings coming off of Tuesday’s big outing when he recorded the key inning-ending strikeout with the bases loaded. The only blip on the box score for the bullpen was a long solo home run given up by Ryan Berry in the ninth inning to Ryan Kalish.
“The bullpen came in and did a heck of a job,” Gomez said. “The bullpen got behind the fans. It was nice the team came back and scored some runs. We got behind 2-1 and we came back and scored three runs.”
Bundy’s next scheduled start is Friday June 1 at Wilmington.
Photo Credit: Special thanks to Rodger M. Wood