Baltimore Orioles: Dylan Bundy blanks Seattle as Birds soar

Dylan Bundy certainly picked an opportune moment to pitch his best game as a pro to date. The Orioles of course find themselves in what amount to a pennant race for an AL wild card spot. Due in large part to Bundy’s effort last night, the O’s are now better than .500 and only 1.5 games back. Bundy’s line: 9.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 12 K.

I mean…you just aren’t going to get a better outing than that. A complete game on-hit shutout. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! As I said, this was Bundy’s best game as a professional by far, and it came right at a moment when the Orioles needed it most. Does this mean that the Orioles will end up in the post season? Not necessarily. But they won their sixth straight game last night, and as I said they’re getting hot at just the right time.

Ironically, this game was a pitcher’s duel in a sense. The Orioles used four solo home runs to win this game. Jonathan Schoop got things going and gave the Orioles an early 1-0 lead with his solo shot in the first inning. And in effect, that lead held up for the entire game – because Bundy was so good.

Manny Machado smacked his first solo homer of the night in the last of the sixth, and one inning later Welington Castillo joined the parade. Just for good measure, Machado gave the Orioles an insurance run in the eighth with his second solo shot of the game. However not even Manny Machado hitting multiple home runs in the game could overshadow Dylan Bundy, who threw 116 pitches on the night to get the complete game win.

While speaking to the media after the game Buck Showalter sung Bundy’s praises, and with good reason. He also reminded people that Bundy had a few things working against him in this game, such as a short rain delay and the fact that he had just come off the bereavement list after dealing with a death in the family (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

He was outstanding, obviously. That was fun to watch. Especially when you think about everything that was at stake for both clubs. Everybody’s operating … Also, he flew in late last night and landed about midnight. Had to work through the rain delay, too. 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. That was outstanding, obviously.

If you would have told a lot of people a month ago that the O’s would be right there in the thick of the race at the end of August, I’m not sure a lot of folks would have believed that. Granted to move up the standings the right teams have to lose on your behalf, and some of that has happened of late. But the O’s have also gotten it together at the right time. A lot of teams have surges over the course of the season. Teams such as Minnesota, Seattle, etc. had stretches where they could do no wrong earlier. The O’s are picking the right time to have theirs.

The series concludes this afternoon at Camden Yards. Ubaldo Jimenez gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Seattle’s Ariel Miranda. Game time is set for just after 3 PM.

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