The Baltimore Orioles suffered another brutal loss to the Royals on Saturday. Why can’t Dylan Bundy pull it together this season?
The Baltimore Orioles lost another tough one on Saturday against the Royals on a Whit Merrifield walk-off home run. For the first time in what feels like forever, Dylan Bundy wasn’t the root cause, but he’s still struggling on the mound.
After the loss, the O’s have now fallen to a dismal 40-96 on the season.
The Orioles played well enough to win this one, leading 2-1 after the 4th and taking a 4-3 lead in the 8th, but a blown save by Mychal Givens let the Royals off the hook in the 9th.
Tim Beckham went 4-4 with two singles, a double and a homer, Trey Mancini went 2-4 with his 21st homer of the year, and Adam Jones and Austin Wynns both had multi-hit efforts in Saturday’s loss. Miguel Castro and Paul Fry both pitched well in relief, combining for 2.2 scoreless innings although neither was able to record a strikeout.
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Dylan Bundy went 5.1 innings, allowing 3 runs on 8 hits, but was able to get 8 strikeouts and allowed just one walk. And while this wasn’t Dylan Bundy’s best performance, he’s had such a miserable run of starts that we’ll take this outing over what we’ve seen recently.
Coming into Saturday, in 7 starts since the All-Star break Bundy had posted a 1-6 record with an 8.20 ERA and 14 home-runs allowed in 37.1 innings, while allowing opposing hitters to post a slash line of .323/.366/.703.
Bundy has been able to get strikeouts this year, and he’s been better about limiting walks as well; his 24.3% strikeout rate and 6.9% walk rate are both career bests. But when hitters have made contact against him, they’ve made it count.
Bundy has been one of the worst pitchers in the majors this year when it comes to allowing soft contact, and he’s allowing home runs at a terrifying rate. His 35 homers allowed are worst in the majors, six more than Bartolo Colon, and his 17.5% HR/FB is horrifically bad.
And his .314 BABIP allowed is just a tick above league average, so it’s not like hitters are getting lucky against him. They’re seeing the ball well and crushing it.
Plus, there’s the drop in velocity. Bundy’s average fastball velocity is now down to 91.7 mph, compared to 93.8 mph just two years ago.
We’ve certainly seen pitchers take some velocity off their pitches and succeed (Matt Boyd in Detroit this year, to an extent), but at 25 years old, it’s tough to imagine that Bundy is doing this on purpose.
Whether it’s an undisclosed injury, something with his mechanics or just poor development on the Orioles part, Bundy’s velocity is concerning.
Time will tell whether Bundy is hiding an injury or pitching through pain, but if that’s the case the Orioles need to figure this out as soon as possible. Bundy may never become an ace, but his development has seemingly taken a turn for the worse and this is a bad look for the Orioles.
Not that we need more evidence that the O’s can’t develop pitchers.
Bundy is slated to pitch on Friday night in Tampa against Blake Snell, who’s been forcing his way into the Cy Young award discussion as of late. Tampa isn’t the easiest of opponents either, so we’ll see how Bundy responds coming off the effort in Kansas City.
The Orioles are back at it this afternoon in KC, first pitch at 2:15 est, with David Hess matching up against Jorge Lopez, a hard-throwing 25-year-old right hander who the Royals acquired along with Brett Phillips this July in the Mike Moustakas trade.
We’ll see whether the Orioles can get the bats going against the youngster and avoid a sweep at the hands of the second worst team in baseball.