Bundy Is his Name and Strikeouts Are his Game
By Mike Franz
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
After pitching a great game last Sunday for the Aberdeen Ironbirds, Dylan Bundy was back on the mound Saturday night for his second start with the ball club while he continues his rehab assignment.
Just like his previous start, Bundy was restricted to pitching a maximum of five innings. However, it appeared as though it would have been difficult for Bundy to repeat the dominating performance he had on Sunday when he pitched five full innings, allowing only one run off of five hits while striking out six batters.
Nevertheless, be it Bundy to quiet my criticism. Through the first three innings, Bundy was pitching a “perfect game,” as he sat down Brooklyn’s entire lineup in order the first time through. In those innings, Bundy forced two ground outs, two fly ball outs, and struck out five batters (three swinging; two looking).
It is this type of performance Orioles fans are looking forward to seeing when Bundy finally makes it up to the big league level.
In the fourth inning, Brooklyn ended Bundy’s perfect game with their leadoff batter, Tucker Tharp hitting a ground ball single into left field. Undeterred, Bundy got right back up on the mound and struck out the next batter swinging.
With Tharp now on third (he stole second base during the previous at bat and stole third base when the batter struck out swinging), Bundy faced the third batter of the inning. Tharp got a tad too overzealous in his base running and attempted to steal home. Bundy would not be made a fool and threw home to get the base runner Tharp out before he could cross the plate safely for the second out of the inning.
After the batter at the plate hit a two-out double to left field, Bundy closed out the inning by striking out the following batter looking for the third out of the inning.
The fifth inning went a little smoother for Bundy. Forcing an infield “pop up” for the first out of the inning, Bundy then walked his only batter of the game. With a man on first with one out, Bundy ended his day striking out the last two batters he faced; the first swinging and the second looking.
Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The IronBirds manager brought in Nik Nowottnick to replace Bundy in the sixth inning. Bundy finished the day surrendering two hits, one walk and did not allow Brooklyn to score. He also struck out a total of nine batters on Saturday. Bundy did all of this by just throwing 62 pitches.
He was a non decision due to a lack of hitting on Aberdeen’s part. The IronBirds lost the game in 11 innings by a score of 3-1; dropping the team’s record to 1-8 on the year.
In just two starts, Bundy has only allowed seven hits between the two games and is posting a 0.90 ERA. Although this is a small sample size and this is Class A Short Season ball and not the Major League level, it is nice to see the Orioles No.2 prospect pitching so well on his path back from Tommy John Surgery. His 15 strikeouts are very nice to see. Just like the title of this article suggests, Bundy is his name and strikeouts are most certainly his game.
Bundy is scheduled to make one more start for Aberdeen on Friday against Hudson Valley (one year removed from Tommy John Surgery). Afterwards he will be re-evaluated and will move up to either Single-A Frederick or Double-A Bowie.