Baltimore Orioles: Three Big Birds From The Month Of August
By Nick Stevens
Dylan Bundy put in a very solid month of work for the Baltimore Orioles in August.
Just a few days ago, I discussed a small adjustment Bundy has recently made with his pitch selection and the overall positive results he has had in August. On the surface, his 1-2 record and 4.11 ERA may not look impressive, but if you look a bit deeper, you see a much-improved Dylan Bundy who is doing exactly what he needs to do right now, which is ending the season on a high note.
Bundy made six starts last month, striking out 33 across 45 innings and putting up three quality starts (his Aug. 3 start against Toronto was two outs away from a fourth quality start).
While his ERA ended at 4.11, Bundy’s FIP came in at 3.39, the lowest mark for any month this year. His 8.5 K/9 IP was close to a season-high, his 2.83 BB/9 IP was the second-lowest mark of the season, and his 50.5% groundball rate was also a season-high for the 26-year-old righty.
The most impressive number of them all was three. Across 35 innings, Bundy allowed just three home runs all month. Yes, the MLB leader in home runs allowed last season and the man who allowed nearly two dingers per game in the first half of the season posted a 0.77 HR/9 IP rate in August. This number hasn’t been below 1.0 since June of 2018 when he allowed 0.66 HR/9 IP.
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If you aren’t ready to declare Bundy an improved pitcher with a positive outlook for 2020, I’m with you. Bundy still needs a big September and continue to show improvements throughout spring training before I’m willing to be optimistic about next season, but his performance over the last 30 days is comforting.
We can’t end this without mentioning Mychal Givens. Givens made 10 appearances, recording a win and two saves while allowing just three earned runs. In 10 innings of work, the Orioles bullpen arm struck out 13, walked just one, and did not allow a single home run. Six of the seven hits he allowed were singles.
Here’s a look at Givens’ FIP numbers by month this season-
- May- 4.24
- June- 4.04
- July- 4.88
- August- 1.22
In a month where Orioles pitching gave up 189 runs, Givens was a reliable option out of the pen. Can he do it again in September? If so, will he find himself in a similar situation as Villar with teams calling in the offseason? We’ll see in a few months.
The Orioles wrap up a weekend series in Kansas City on Sunday before heading to Florida for a three-game set against the Rays. They will play at 1 pm on Monday, followed by a double-header on Tuesday beginning at 3 pm due to Hurricane Dorian. Wednesday is now an off-day before a seven-game homestand against the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers.