It would be easy to suggest that the Baltimore Orioles wasted yet another quality start, this time by Dylan Bundy. And in fact they probably did. However they matched one of the best teams in the league point-for-point through nine innings plus. They held a very potent offense down for some time, and in fact this game was the longest that Boston had gone without scoring a run. Bundy’s line: 8.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K.
This is one of those games whereby it’s a shame that someone had to lose. Manager Buck Showalter hesitated to refer to Bundy as “elite,” but needless to say he was as good as he could be against a world class lineup (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
I think we’ve all felt like that he could. I think he kind of sticks out sometimes as one of those guys who can do that. And much of it’s got to do with his mindset and just his presentation. That’s why you pitch guys like that on opening day.
A lot of people, ‘OK, the club is struggling and you’re facing the Red Sox.’ He wants that challenge, he doesn’t back off from it. He’s always had that kind of elite mindset that you look for in all players, especially guys you want to be taking the ball every fifth day in a meaningful situation. But regardless of what’s going on, he’s so self-driven. He’s a baseball player that’s a pitcher. That’s as big a compliment that I can give him.
Bundy never really found himself in any trouble out of which he had to pitch in this game. He was as elite as elite can be. He just didn’t get any run support. But again in fairness to the Orioles, neither did Boston.
The game quickly moved along and went into extra innings. Mychal Givens allowed a single and a double in the top of the twelfth, and then hit a batter. Two sac fly-RBI gave Boston two outs but also a 2-0 lead. Many fans were upset at Adam Jones throwing home on the first sac fly as opposed to hitting the cutoff man. In fact, it allowed another runner to get to third and to eventually score.
However while that’s a mistake that Jones has made on a semi-regular basis throughout his career, it also is one made out of a yearn to win. Furthermore that ball was only medium-depth in the outfield. If you have an outside shot at cutting down a runner in a game like that, I think you take it.