Kyle Bradish pitched 8.2 scoreless innings for the Orioles on Thursday night.
Thursday night, Kyle Bradish took the mound for the Orioles in a game that was never supposed to be about him, and he ended up throwing the best game of his career.
The Astros entered the night 99-51, looking to claim their 100th victory while already clinching the AL West. Former Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini, dealt to the Houston Astros at the 2022 Trade deadline, made his return to Baltimore last night, greeted by a standing ovation. 39-year-old Justin Verlander, a favorite in the AL Cy Young race, took the mound for the Astros, and gave up two runs in six innings. Yet, it was Kyle Bradish who took the spotlight.
Kyle Bradish: 8.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 SO
Bradish has struggled to keep his spot not just in the rotation this season, but on the team, being optioned to the minors back in June after his ERA peaked at 7.38 in his first run with the big club. Since rejoining the team, Bradish is 8-3 with a 2.67 ERA in 11 starts. Whatever he worked on in Norfolk, it’s elevated him to exceptional results.
All of his improvement peaked on Thursday, as the rookie hit career highs in innings pitched and tossed double-digit strikeouts for just the second time in his young career. Bradish was just one out away from finishing a complete game shutout, but after surrendering a single to Jeremy Pena, Brandon Hyde opted to go to the bullpen to let Felix Bautista close out the game.
This wasn’t done against a weak lineup. The Astros’ offense ranks 3rd in the American League in OPS (.741), and the middle of the order – Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman, and Kyle Tucker – combined to go 0-for-9 with 1 K. No matter how you put it, this was an incredible performance by Kyle Bradish.
The Orioles’ offense was relatively cold, but they picked up two runs on seven hits, thanks to a 2-run RBI single by Rougned Odor with two outs in the 2nd. Cedric Mullins picked up his 31st double of the season, tying Adley Rutschman for second most on the team.
Tonight, Dean Kremer will match up against Jose Urquidy at Camden Yards, as the Orioles will look to close the 4-game gap in the Wild Card race. It will be tough for Kremer to follow up Bradish’s career night and Jordan Lyles going the distance. The Orioles have three more games against the Astros before moving onto the Red Sox in Boston.