Dylan Bundy wasn’t exactly at his best Wednesday, but he gets a pass. A Bundy mulligan. No need to worry about the wunderkind.
These kinds of starts happen.
Against the dangerous Boston Red Sox on Wednesday Bundy allowed five runs on nine hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings. He served up two homers, struck out just two and threw 89 pitches without getting through five innings as the Orioles lost, 8-1, in a rain-shortened, six-inning game.
“Good offensive team. He made a couple mistakes, but I think it was more about them than him,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Bundy. “I thought the command was a little off. He got into some counts he normally doesn’t get in.”
It’s the first true clunker of Bundy’s big league career. He allowed the most runs he had in one outing in the majors and posted the fewest number of strikeouts since he’s been starting.
He had allowed just six runs in his last five outings – spanning 29 1/3 innings – and then surrendered one fewer run in this outing.
What was the difference between those games and this one?
“They hit everything,” Bundy said with a smile. “I don’t know. I threw some good pitches and they still hit them. It was just one of those nights, I guess. You’ve just go to learn from it and get better from here.”
There was a bit of a scare in the third inning when Bundy rolled his right ankle when coming off the mound on a grounder into the shift. He said it was sore, but he thought he’d be OK.
“I was going to get the ball and came down on my right foot and (it) just kinda rolled,” he said. “So, it’s fine. Obviously, we will see how it is tomorrow. I was able to pitch after that. So, should be fine.”
Before Bundy pitched Wednesday, I was asked whether I thought he could handle the pressure of facing the rival Red Sox in the pennant race. I responded that if he has a bad game, it would have more to do with Boston’s firepower than any nerves exhibited by Bundy.
This guy is not your normal 23-year-old. He is mature beyond his years. Competitive beyond his years. Mentally tough beyond his years.
It was one rough start. Nothing more to see here.
Falling into third
If you want to be concerned about something from Wednesday night, let it be this: The Orioles are now a third place for team for the first time this season.
Really, that’s probably not a reason for alarm either. Yet.
“It’s so close, the separation between the teams. It’s going to be all the way down the stretch, I think that’s a given,” Orioles slugger Chris Davis said. “Every year, it seems like the division is always separated by one or two games. The important part is to keep going. There is still plenty of time left, so regroup and get back on track.”
By dropping two straight to Boston at Camden Yards, the Red Sox have leapfrogged the Orioles in the AL East race and the Wild Card standings. The Orioles are now two games behind the Toronto Blue Jays and one behind Boston in the division. If the season ended today, all thee East teams would be in the playoffs.
“It’s been heating up since February. It is what it is. It’s kind of what most people thought it would be,” Showalter said. “In most cases, most of them didn’t include us. We’ve got to keep doing some things to keep us engaged in it, to have a chance in September.”
Davis homers off Price
The Orioles only run against Boston lefty David Price was a second-inning solo shot by Chris Davis that landed on Eutaw Street behind the right field flag court. It was his 25th homer of the year – fifth consecutive season he has done that – and a stadium-best ninth Eutaw Street homer for Davis.
More important, it was just his seventh longball against a lefty this season and it came against one of the best pitchers in baseball. Could this be what Davis needs to help get him out of his funk?
“I feel like I’ve been one swing away all year. It’s just a matter of going out there and doing it over and over again,” Davis said. “It would be nice to say, ‘Yeah absolutely.’ But there is nothing that’s guaranteed in this game. So I’m going to continue to grind it out and do whatever I can.”