Why Bundy's gem Tuesday was truly impressive - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Dan Connolly

Why Bundy’s gem Tuesday was truly impressive

Dylan Bundy pied after complete game one hit shutout
Photo credit: Derik Hamilton/USA Today Sports

I guess you could be mesmerized by the biting slider or the curve that was dropping off the proverbial table Tuesday night in the Orioles’ 4-0 win against the Seattle Mariners.

I guess you should be thoroughly impressed by the way Orioles’ right-hander Dylan Bundy kept adding and taking off his fastball and locating it up, down, in and out, constantly changing the eye level of the befuddled Mariners’ hitters.

And, sure, it’s fair to think that you just witnessed something truly special at Camden Yards, a 12-strikeout, one-hit, complete game shutout by a 24-year-old kid making just his 39th career big league start.

I’ll give you all of that.

But here’s why I was so impressed with Bundy: He flew into Baltimore early Tuesday morning after being away from the team due to the death of his paternal grandmother. He obviously was dealing with bigger things than a baseball game, and yet there was nothing at Camden Yards last night for Bundy besides catcher Welington Castillo’s glove.

“It’s been hectic, but just taking it in stride, taking it one day at a time,” Bundy said. “And just go out there and pitch when it’s my turn to pitch.”

Clichés aside, Bundy continues to impress me – really everyone – with his maturity and his ability to pummel adversity. Remember this was a can’t miss kid when he was drafted in 2011, debuted in 2012 and then had his baseball world fall apart due to injuries, including elbow surgery. During that time, his mother passed away suddenly, further causing turmoil in his young life.

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Yet Bundy kept battling, often leaning on his father and his older brother, Bobby, a minor league pitcher who has also had his share of injuries.

“I don’t think a lot of people have been through what Dylan’s been through. And to battle back through it. Sometimes, you forget that Dylan lost his mother and his grandmother at a young age and sometimes life forces you to grow up,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “This was a guy who was as good a high school prospect as a lot of people ever saw. And then, all of a sudden, that’s taken away from you with elbow surgery, and you’ve got to make some decisions whether you’re going to push through it. Sometimes, it makes us a lot stronger when you get through those things.”

You don’t get excuses from Bundy. When he doesn’t pitch well, he owns it. And moves on. So, when he pitched arguably one of the best games in Orioles’ history – the first individual one-hitter since Jason Hammel in 2012 and the only one-hit shutout with 12 or more strikeouts besides Mike Mussina’s in 2000 – he kind of shrugs that off, too.

“It means a lot, mainly just to go out there,” Bundy said. “But me and (Castillo) had a great game plan again, behind the plate, and then of course, the defense was outstanding.”

Bundy’s shot at a no-hitter disappeared in the fourth inning when Kyle Seager bunted and Bundy couldn’t field it cleanly. So, a chance at history fell apart on a bunt single.

“No, it doesn’t matter (that it was a bunt),” Bundy said. “They are trying to win games, too. So that’s fine.”

Bundy’s even nature doesn’t make for the most exciting quotes.

But it provides him with a certain resolve that has allowed him to keep pushing on, whether it’s in the ninth inning for his first complete game shutout or simply to go out to the mound and focus with a heavy heart.

“He flew in late last night and landed about midnight. Had to work through the (32-minute) rain delay, too,” Showalter said. “There were a lot of things that could have been a challenge for him and he doesn’t let it be. He’s so strong mentally.”

So, yeah, that’s what impresses me the most about Dylan Bundy.

 

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Osfan73

    August 30, 2017 at 12:22 am

    That Bundy was able to overcome adversity mid season to rebound and pitch like this during a playoff chase under some definite pressure to win shows how composed and in control he is. He could very well be a 15 game winner this year. It’s as if he’s put the team on his back from a pitching perspective anyway.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 30, 2017 at 11:50 am

      No question he’s been the club’s best starting pitcher. Pretty impressive at 24.

  2. John in Cincy

    August 30, 2017 at 12:31 am

    “…when he pitched arguably one of the best games in Orioles’ history ”
    ………………………..
    Arguably??? Why qualify when you don’t need to, Dan, because that’s definitely on the short list of best-pitched games in club history.

    Think about it a second. The Orioles aren’t a team exactly rich when it comes to low-hit, complete game shutouts. Since 1954, they’ve only had five no-hitters. Hoyt Wilhelm (two base runners), Tom Phoebus (three baserunners), and Jim Palmer (eight baserunners) all had complete games, but the other two no-nos were collaborative efforts (one involved two pitchers, and the other four).

    In fact, Bundy’s outing, in which the Mariners had six base runners, can be safely placed right up there besides Palmer’s effort, and may even be more impressive in some respects. Seattle’s only hit was a lowly bunt. Other than that, Dylan walked two and hit a batter; Cakes walked six, while both had two errors committed behind them. Bundy showed more dominance, too, as he had 12 strikeouts to 8 for Palmer.

    Both pitched well despite circumstances that could have caused lesser results: Bundy’s return from bereavement leave, and Palmer’s first game back from the DL. Both were pitching against solid offenses, too (Palmer faced a Reggie Jackson-led A’s team), so neither of these were cheapies. Clearly, Dylan’s put himself into some elite company.
    https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BAL/BAL196908130.shtml

  3. Homerago

    August 30, 2017 at 1:22 am

    We all know how talented Bundy is, and how valuable he will be to the Orioles for many years. I cringed when he was rewarded with two pies slammed into his face. The pie in the face practice is a chronic vertigo syndrome, ready to happen. Moreover, in today’s climate of mores, it appears to be a mean -spirited attack on all of the players that have to undergo this ritual. We only need to look back to Roberto Alomar in realizing how the slightest trauma to the head/face can possibly trigger chronic dizziness, vertigo, etc. I hope that management will stop this “staggering” practice once again .

    • Ben1

      August 30, 2017 at 6:33 am

      worry wart…. let them have some fun..the “hit” is more of a rub.

    • CB in CC

      August 30, 2017 at 7:24 am

      It seems like they have changed the routine with the pies this year. The player can see them coming with the pies. They have time to remove the interview headset and close their eyes.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      August 30, 2017 at 7:59 am

      Let the pies fly!

    • Dan Connolly

      August 30, 2017 at 11:52 am

      I am so pie neutral. I couldn’t care less. But there are a bunch of people who have a strong opinion on it. Bless ya.

  4. Ben1

    August 30, 2017 at 6:31 am

    So impresses with Dylan.
    hope he has a Palmeresque Oriole career

    • Dan Connolly

      August 30, 2017 at 11:53 am

      Ok Ben, love the hopefulness. But only one Palmer. Still, kid has potential to be really good.

  5. Wade Warren

    August 30, 2017 at 7:25 am

    That is by far the highlight of the year and our future ace.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 30, 2017 at 11:54 am

      Best P performance I’ve seen in years at Camden Yards

  6. Ezrine Tire Award

    August 30, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Holy Shiite what a performance! Let’s hope Ubaldo doesn’t take us a step back today. I’m thinking we can catch the Yankees.

    • Dan Connolly

      August 30, 2017 at 11:56 am

      The optimism is overflowing. They are still trailing for the second Wild Card, That said, Yankees are somewhat beat up right now. But I still wouldn’t count on that (or either spot).

  7. Orial

    August 30, 2017 at 11:11 am

    If it comes to one game playoff for the wild card he could get it done. Something we probably wouldn’t say 2 weeks ago.

  8. karks

    August 30, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    From the time he came on the scene, you could see his mental makeup was a bit different (in a very good way). Just his ability to adjust and keep battling within a game is impressive. And then to see some of the physical an emotional challenges he’s faced makes it even more so.

  9. Ludwig37

    August 31, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Dan, sorry for the day late report. I was at the game on Tuesday for my birthday. I was sitting in section 36 with the scouts. Watching Bundy warm up, his ball was moving. His slider was stupid, complete fastball command, but the curve ball he threw to Danny V was Jim Palmer like. I haven’t see an Oriole pitcher have that much command for a long time. Bundy is our true ace. Nothing fazes this kid. In the 9th inning, the gun on the fastball was still at 93 mph. To quote Crash Davis, ” never fuck with a winning streak.” Please excuse the language. Thanks.

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