Baltimore Orioles: Late Danny Valencia homer can’t lift Birds

Dylan Bundy got the start for the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon in the final Sunday game in Sarasota. However Bundy struggled in this game against the NY Mets, making one wonder what kind of work he’ll get as we go into the final week of spring games. Bundy’s line: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R (4 earned), 1 BB, 6 K.

Bundy was hitting the strike zone, evidenced by the six strikeouts. However that’s not always a good thing. If you hit too much of the zone, you’re going to get guys on base and more and more potential for runs. In Bundy’s case, the tone was set in the second inning on a D’Arnaud solo homer which gave New York a 1-0 lead. One inning later Nimmo’s RBI-single would run the lead to 2-0, and D’Arnaud would also add a two-RBI double. Before the middle of the third inning, the Orioles trailed 4-0.

However keep in mind that those issues are all fixable in Bundy’s case. And many of them can be attributed to having an off day. I’ve said many times during many other spring trainings that your average starting pitcher will have 30 starts during the season. 10 will be great, 10 poor, and 10 in-between. (And it’s that final category wherein lies the success or failure of your season.)

But the news wasn’t all bad for the Orioles – hardly, in fact. They got Chris Davis back in the lineup, and the team is saying that he should be ready for Opening Day. And Davis celebrated his return to the lineup by smacking an RBI-single in the last of the third to get the Orioles on the board. However that was all that either team put across until the sixth when New York got an additional run, which ended up being an insurance run.

And keep in mind that insurance runs in baseball are very important. We’ve seen it in the past, and we saw it today. So the Orioles should be wary of that, given the fact that the line between winning and losing can be so fine. 4-1 isn’t a blowout by any means; so in games where you have a score like that, don’t allow the opponent to tack on a cheap run in later innings. Because again, the line between winning and losing is very fine.

Engelb Vielma‘s RBI-single in the last of the eighth brought the O’s to within 5-2. However Danny Valencia followed suit with a two-run homer that brought them to the brink of tying the game. However the game ended in the last of the ninth with the tying run on third. And again, that’s why those insurance runs can be so important.

The Orioles will open the final week of camp on the road tomorrow in Lakeland against Detroit. Chris Tillman gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Michael Fulmer. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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