Dylan Bundy‘s outing this afternoon typified what we’ve seen from Baltimore Orioles pitching since late 2017. First time through the order Bundy dominated. However once Oakland hitters saw him once, they adapted. Bundy did not, and the Orioles suffered as a result. Bundy’s line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 0 BB, 8 K.
If you remove the run total, Bundy actually had a decent outing. Zero walks and eight strikeouts is a decent outing. However Bundy gave up the long ball, which of course has haunted the Orioles all year to date. Manager Brandon Hyde said after the game that he thought this was Bundy’s best outing to date this year. In truth, he’s right. But the home runs have to stop if the O’s are going to win games this year.
The O’s actually held the lead in this game early on. Dwight Smith Jr. smacked a solo homer in the first, giving the Birds a 1-0 lead. For the record, the ball was projected to travel 440 feet, the longest Oriole homer to date this year. Ultimately however it doesn’t matter how far it travels, only that it goes over the fence.
And that was a motif that Oakland followed again today, starting in the fourth. Davis’ two-run homer gave them a 2-1 lead. One inning later Phegley smacked a two-run shot of his own, extending the lead to 4-1. Unfortunately however, Davis wasn’t done. He came up again in the sixth and smacked a solo homer – his second home run of the day.
Later in the inning Oakland would add another solo homer and a sac fly-RBI. And before you knew it, the Orioles trail. And trailed big; 7-1.
But the silver lining in this game was that the Orioles rallied. They managed to load the bases with nobody out in the seventh, a sequence that included a Chris Davis walk. (If you can’t get a hit, at least you can get aboard with a walk, which helped perpetuate a rally.) The Birds would cut the Oakland lead to 7-2 when catcher Pedro Severino was hit by a pitch.
For the record, Severino was hit in the head; the crack of the ball hitting the helmet rang out throughout Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Severino ran for himself, but was replaced in the eighth inning as a precaution. Brandon Hyde said that by all accounts Severino is going to be fine – no sign of concussion or any other serious injury.
The Orioles would net two more runs on a wild pitch, and an RBI-groundout. Dwight Smith would also add an RBI-double, cutting the lead to 7-5. And for a moment, it appeared as if the Birds night have a shot to come back. But a late eighth inning homer by Semien and the Oakland bullpen put a stop to that idea, and Oakland took this game 8-5 (winning the series three games to one).
Life doesn’t get easier for the O’s, as they now head out on the road. First stop: Fenway Park. Not exactly conducive to keeping the ball in the ballpark. But nobody said this was easy. The toughness of it is part of what makes baseball special.
While Brandon Hyde said that he thought Bundy’s pitch location was unpredictable, the results of the past few games might say otherwise (regarding all pitchers). The fact that Oakland got going after going through the order once could be evidence of that as well. It might be worth looking into whether or not pitches are either being tipped, or if they’re getting too predictable in terms of pitch calls.
The Birds open up the aforementioned four-game series on Boston tomorrow at Fenway Park. David Hess gets the fall for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.