Dylan Bundy of the Baltimore Orioles made his first big league start yesterday, and was victimized by throwing too many fastballs.
Dylan Bundy threw too many fastballs in his first ever start at the big league level yesterday, and as a result the Baltimore Orioles were victimized by home runs. Now let me be clear; Bundy’s a young pitcher with a lot of potential, and he will improve. However Tampa hitters seemed to know which pitch was coming (and where) before even Bundy did.
So if there’s only one thing to say about yesterday’s start, it would be that Bundy needs to mix his pitches better. Predictability in a pitcher isn’t a good thing, and the Orioles suffered at the hands of Bundy’s predictability yesterday. Bundy’s line: 3.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 4 K. (WIth all of that said, obviously Bundy did strike four guys out so he did fool them here and there.)
The O’s actually took an early 1-0 lead on Manny Machado‘s sac fly-RBI in the first inning. However the home run parade for Tampa started immediately. Longoria smacked a solo homer in the last of the first, which I’m not sure has landed yet. One inning later Bundy was a strike away from getting out of the inning, however Arcia’s two-run homer on a full count gave Tampa the lead at 3-1.
Call to the Pen
Bundy actually got ahead in the count to numerous Tampa hitters, however that’s also indicative of the fact that he was getting too much of the plate. Tampa has some decent hitters in their lineup, and they caught on quickly as to what Bundy was trying to do. And that’s why you can’t be so predictable when it comes to pitching – at any level.
Miller’s solo homer in the last of the third extended Tampa’s lead to 4-1. However the O’s got one back in the sixth on a solo homer by Alvarez, who’s really been heating up of late. For good measure, Longoria smacked his second homer of the game in the last of the eighth to run the final score to 5-2.
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Ironically Bundy was putting the ball pretty much where he wanted to, which speaks to the fact that he needs to mix his pitches better. He addressed this after the game (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
"They were pretty much where I wanted them. Arcia, that ball was off the plate and he was able to go get it. These guys are good hitters up here and we’ve just got to be able to make better pitches."
And there’s little doubt that Bundy will get the job done in terms of finding ways to utilize more off-speed pitches in games. This also shows the difference between starting and relieving. When you’re the starter, you have to set the tone for the game. Often times as a reliever, you’re just trying to record outs as quickly and efficiently as you can – hence throwing lots of fastballs.
After taking two-of-three in Tampa, the Birds will now head to the Bronx to open up a four-game set with New York. Kevin Gausman will get the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s Ivan Nova. Game time is set for just after 7 PM this evening.