The Baltimore Orioles were put through the ringer 11-1 against the Blue Jays last night, as the game got off to a sloppy start, with Kyle Bradish getting tuned up early.
It doesn’t feel like long ago when the Baltimore Orioles were facing the St. Louis Cardinals, and Kyle Bradish was sitting hitter down left and right. Folks, we are a long way from that night in the STL, and something needs to give.
Since May 10th, when we all saw who we hoped would be the O’s next Ace, KB has fallen hard. His ERA has dropped from a 4.24 to a 6.86, he hasn’t made it out of the sixth inning, and he’s given up an average of four runs per game. Granted his last few outings saw him pitch against the Jay, Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays, but the facts are still the facts.
His biggest issue last night, we his inability to start the count off on the right foot. Time and time again he fell behind in the count, forcing him to show his control, something that has been in question at times. Bradish’s best asset, has been getting ahead in the count and then using his movement pitches off the plate for punch-outs. That didn’t happen in Toronto last Monday night.
Baltimore Orioles: A Kyle Bradish reset is desperately needed
Through his 90 pitches last evening, he only collected five whiffs. Only 24% of his pitches were either called strikes or whiffs, and that’s where another area of concern comes into play. Not only is he struggling to get ahead on the count, he wasn’t making the Blue Jays miss.
To be fair, the pitch chart above isn’t far off from what his normal pitching charts look like. The difference, however, is that the majority of those pitches outside of the strike zone were takes, or balls and not the whiffs that we have been seeing in the past. His whiff average coming into last night was 25%. He ended the game only getting 14% of the hitters to miss what he was offering.
So, where do the Baltimore Orioles go from here, and how does KB turn things around? Starting with the latter, it seems that the easy fix is to just throw strikes. Now, that is easier said from here at my computer, but when Kyle Bradish is working the zone, his off-speed and movement pitches work better.
As for the Baltimore Orioles, maybe a reset is in order. The O’s have Spenser Watkins healthy and rolling again in Triple-A, and DL Hall is still doing what he does best. It appears that we are in the era of youth and experiments, so that all seems to be up in the air. You won’t see GRod replacing him anytime soon, so maybe their best bet is to let him work out the kinks and press on.