Results tagged ‘ Dylan Bundy ’

Baltimore Orioles: Turnabout is fair play behind a Dylan Bundy gem

What a difference a day makes for the Baltimore Orioles. They were bludgeoned on Wednesday night on the south side of Chicago. This afternoon was a totally different story behind Dylan Bundy – and as has been said ad hoc, it all begins and ends with starting pitching. Bundy’s line: 9.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 14 K.

Those 14 strikeouts are a career-high for Bundy. But perhaps more importantly, he pitched a complete game. That sets up the Orioles’ ‘pen nicely for the weekend.

It begins and ends with starting pitching. But that obviously isn’t the only part of the game. Oriole bats needed to step up. And they did – the Birds loaded the bases in the first inning, which combined with Chicago starter Giolito being unable to find the strike zone, led to two runs walking in. Chance Sisco followed with a two-RBI single, and before Bundy even took the field he had a 4-0 lead.

And the Orioles kept the pressure on in the second. They got solo homers off the bats of Mancini and Jones respectively, and then they proceeded to load the bases again. And when Sisco walked he tallied the Birds a seventh run. One inning later they got RBI-singles from Manny Machado and Pedro Alvarez, running the score to 9-0.

A fourth inning three-run homer off the bat of Rondon was the only mistake that Bundy made. Heck, it was one of only two hits he surrendered in the game. Whereas bad games can have reverberations down the line because of the number of relievers used, games like this can reverberate in the opposite manner.

All it takes is one solid game to get things going in a good way. And this was certainly a solid one, as the O’s dominated in every phase of the game. And nobody knows that better than Buck Showalter (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):

It feels good. Nobody beats up on our guys more than they do, OK? Don’t let them get their feet on the ground. Don’t let them get a little confidence going and what have you, because somebody will pay for a long period of time. That’s just what we’re hoping. We haven’t even played a third of the season yet.

The Orioles now head to Tampa to open up a three-game series at Tropicana Field tomorrow night. While the Orioles haven’t formally named a starter, it’s expected to be David Hess; he’d be opposed by Tampa’s Sergio Romo. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles fall on a rainy night at Fenway

No folks, that wasn’t the Preakness you watched last night, it was the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway. I do question how the game was allowed to start and go on, and I suspect that starter Dylan Bundy might have as well. It was a sloppy night, which at various points including what was just shy of driving rain. Bundy’s line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 8 K.

The O’s did hold the lead in this game for a short while, on a third inning sac fly-RBI by Jonathan Schoop. However that came with the bases loaded, and that was the only run the Birds were able to score in that sequence. Did the rain possibly have a role in that?

Ultimately the conditions do play into how the Orioles’ offense looks. They don’t like cold or rain. Boston likes to come off as much more of a man for all seasons type of team. Now I’m not suggesting that this game was played to give Boston an advantage. Starts, rain delays, etc. are up to the home team until the game starts. Once the umpire says PLAY BALL! the decision to delay or cancel lies with them – and thus the league.

Boston would tie the game at one an inning after the O’s took the lead on a Devers solo homer. However Bundy pitched out of that inning without any further problems. It wasn’t until the fifth that the weather started to take it’s toll. Betts smacked a two-run homer that gave Boston a 3-1 lead. Benintendi would follow with a solo shot of his own, and the O’s trailed 4-1.

However the Orioles did try to battle back. Pedro Alvarez smacked a two-run home run in the sixth that brought them to within one. But an inning later Benintendi came to bat again and responded with a two-RBI single, prompting Boston to a 6-3 victory. After the game Buck Showalter made a good point regarding reading stats and scores vs. watching the games. Statistics don’t always tell you the bottom line as you think it might Bundy actually pitched fairly well, although the stats might indicate otherwise (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

You watch his outing, you’ll pull up a box score tomorrow and somebody will think he didn’t pitch particularly well and that’s why you go to the games. I thought he pitched Betts well and just made one mistake on him. It’s just the execution of the pitches. They’re hitting mistakes that we’re throwing and it’s been a challenge for us keeping it in the park.

The O’s will attempt to split the series at Fenway in this afternoon’s series finale. David Hess will be called back up to get the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Reports of the Birds’ and Dylan Bundy’s demise have been greatly exaggerated

It began with Dylan Bundy today for the Baltimore Orioles. That is, it begins and ends with starting pitching. Well, maybe it didn’t end there per se. Bundy was strong, and the makings of a win certainly began with him. But it ended with Oriole bats. Bundy’s line: 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 7 K.

This game was never destined to be close, and it was the perfect response to the Birds losing 17-1 this past week to Kansas City. For the sake of the team, you have to hope that they’ve exorcised the demons of their disastrous start and can still make a run of things. If today’s results mean anything, they can play with anyone.

The Orioles hit three solo homers in the second to get things going, off the bats of Danny ValenciaJoey Rickard (who was just brought back from triple-A before the game), and Trey Mancini. And in Mancini’s case it had to feel especially good to homer on Mother’s Day at Camden Yards. His Mom’s a native Marylander.

Valencia would score one inning later as well on a throwing error, but it was the fourth inning where things really popped. The O’s got an an RBI-double from Manny Machado, RBI-singles from Valencia and Jonathan Schoop, and a three-run homer from Rickard. When the smoke cleared after the fourth, the Orioles had spotted Bundy an 11-0 lead.

And here’s the other positive aspect of this game, although a bit more hidden; Bundy pitched well with that lead. Some pitchers will ease up just a bit when they have a lead of that magnitude. Bundy didn’t do that, and he was able to complete seven very solid innings of two-hit baseball.

The Birds’ offense would take a couple of innings off, only to resume activity in the seventh inning. Mancini grounded into a fielder’s choice-RBI. Machado and Gentry smacked RBI-doubles, with Gentry’s being a two-RBI double. Valencia and Rickard added RBI-singles as well. Span would smack an RBI-single in the eighth to shave one run off of the Orioles’ margin of victory. However up 17-0 to that point, I don’t think the Orioles were that concerned.

You also have to give some credit to Joey Rickard, who smacked two homers on the very day he was recalled from triple-A Norfolk. Buck Showalter said after the game that in fact it almost didn’t happen. Rickard and Donnie Hart‘s (who was also recalled) flight to Baltimore was at 8 AM, but it was delayed by four hours. Somehow the Orioles were able to get them on another flight, and into the starting lineup Rickard went.

It’s tough to decide whether “the story” is about pitching or hitting when a team wins by 16 runs. But ultimately it’s about the team. This was a total team victory. Perhaps it begins (and ends) with Bundy, but Rickard obviously played a huge role, as did Machado, Schoop, et al.

So let the record show that the second week of May was a good one for the Birds, who are off tomorrow before Philadelphia comes to town for a short two-game set on Tuesday. Does that mean that moving forward the season will be smooth sailing? Does it mean that this team could actually make a run at something? I’m not saying that, first off because they dug a massive hole. But also because I can’t predict the future. However reports of their demise might have been exaggerated.

Baltimore Orioles: Is Dylan Bundy injured?

Dylan Bundy gave the Baltimore Orioles perhaps the most lackluster start of his career this evening. Bundy’s line: 0.0 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 2 BB, 0 K. You didn’t read that incorrectly, and I didn’t make a mistake in writing it. Bundy was credited with no part of an inning. He departed after giving up seven runs on four homers.

So to review, the Birds trailed 7-0 before they even recorded an out in the game. The first out was recorded by reliever Mike Wright, who was brought in with nobody out. And if there’s one silver lining on this game, it’s Wright’s performance. He gave up a few runs, however he stablized things just a bit for the O’s. Well, that might be a bit strong of a term. Let’s say he settled things just a bit. Wright’s line: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 1 K.

Chris Davis provided for the Orioles’ lone run of the game until the end, on a solo homer in the second inning. Danny Valencia and Caleb Joseph would add solo shots in the last of the eighth, Schoop a two-RBI double along with a few other runs in the ninth as well. However this was also the third consecutive poor start for Bundy. Now I always say that pitchers will have about ten poor starts a year. However the fact that he’s seemingly fallen so far so fast is something that makes one raised an eyebrow.

Bundy was topping out on his fastball this evening in the high 80’s. Bundy isn’t a flame thrower by any means, however he usually has a bit more velocity than that. In general, Bundy’s what one might call a finesse pitcher, who either pitches-to-contact or fools hitters with late movement and deception. That obviously didn’t happen tonight, and it hasn’t happened for a few weeks.

So my question is whether or not Bundy’s 100% healthy. The consecutive poor starts you can almost overlook – those things are going to happen. But the down tick in velocity combined with the poor starts kind of jumps out at you. Keep in mind that this is a guy who’s already had Tommy John surgery. Not that it should mean anything, but he’s already had it.

My point would be that it might do the Orioles well to have Bundy examined in some manner, because it wouldn’t hurt to ensure that he’s pitching with a full deck. Because the other issue could then become that it’s a mechanical issue. So pick your poison. Ultimately there’s something going on, because Bundy this evening became the first pitcher in the live ball era (1920-present) to give up four homers and not record an out in the first inning of a game.

When the dust settled in this game Kansas City beat the Orioles 15-7. Now mind you, this isn’t scientific – I’m going squarely based on seeing the game and analyzing this team for quite a few years. However a vast majority of the Kansas City runs (or “big moments”) came on two-strike counts. Many of the homers and even the base hits that came before the homers carried two-strike counts.

This has been a problem for the Orioles for some time. It dates back at least to 2016 – again based on my perception of the games. It’s something we saw at times in Spring Training as well. In fact, I wrote about it in Spring Training. The Orioles just can’t seem to get guys out with two strikes.

I can’t tell you what the issue is. Are the Orioles just very predictable in terms of their pitch selections and locations? Is someone stealing signs? Or is it simply a grand coincidence? Any one of those scenarios is possible – as are others. But perhaps it’s something that should be looked into. Surely if there’s a pattern and/or if something’s happening that’s tipping pitches, if opponents are able to pick up on it the Orioles’ coaches would be also.

The series continues tomorrow evening at Camden Yards as the O’s try to get even. Andrew Cashner gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Kansas City’s Eric Skoglund. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Dylan Bundy struggles but small stones knock Birds from the sky

Dylan Bundy actually had a better start for the Baltimore Orioles last night in Anaheim – as opposed to his previous start. Bundy’s line: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R (5 earned), 1 BB, 4 K. Bundy was pitching-to-contact all night. And the issue of course was that Anaheim hitters were making contact. Starting with first inning solo homers by Trout and Pujols. This on the heels of a Manny Machado sac fly-RBI which gave the O’s a 1-0 lead in the first.

The job of a starter is to put his team in a position to win. Bundy didn’t necessarily do that last night, however even his three homers surrendered aren’t what killed the O’s last night. It was small mistakes here and there. If you look at the final stat line I posted for Bundy above, you’ll notice that includes two unearned runs. Those made a difference.

Ohtani reached in the fourth on a fielding error by Chris Davis. (Who for the record, later atoned for his mistake with a diving stop of a grounder bound for the right field corner.) Ohtani was doubled home by Simmons, who went to third base on a Machado throwing error. Simmons would later score on the aforementioned grounder that was stopped by Davis – it yielded a run, but it saved the Orioles a further base runner. (Point being that even when he looks fallible, Davis is still an asset in the field.)

Those were two runs that didn’t help matters. Meanwhile the Orioles couldn’t seem to convert any opportunities (such as walks or base hits) into runs. In the fifth they had runners at the corners, and ended up with a strikeout and a GIDP. It’s moments like that which matter in games. If you take away the unearned runs presuming the errors don’t occur and the O’s plate even one run in that fifth inning sequence, that’s two runs saved and one gained – for a total of three runs.

Later in that fifth inning Upton’s two-run homer would chase Bundy from the game, but Anaheim would keep the pressure on. When the smoke cleared, they had totaled ten runs. Add on a Machado RBI-ground out in the eighth, and you have the Birds trailing 10-2 going to the ninth inning.

But keep in mind what I said above. If the O’s can plate a run in a golden opportunity in the fifth and the aforementioned errors don’t happen, it’s 8-3. Oriole bats came alive in the ninth inning, and actually made a run of things. Not a true run because of how far behind they were, but they put up a very respectable inning.

Chris Davis’ RBI-single cut the lead to 10-3, leaving the bases loaded and nobody out. Jace Peterson‘s bases-clearing triple cranked up the heat a bit, cutting the Anaheim lead to 10-6. Trey Mancini would add a sac fly-RBI before it was said and done, leaving the Birds with a 10-7 loss. Ultimately it doesn’t matter if you lose by three or eight – you still lose.

But again think back to the opportunities squandered and the run-yielding errors. Removing those things, all things being equal the game is tied at eight and it goes to extra innings. Heck, if the O’s are able to score both runners in that fifth inning sequence, they’d have the lead going to the last of the ninth.

The Orioles have always been a big picture type of team. They’ve always looked at it from the perspective that little things can be let go if you’re able to overcome them later. But at this point in time, the Birds aren’t able to overcome them. That’s why Simmons’ run-scoring double mentioned above didn’t find Trey Mancini’s glove despite his best efforts. And that’s why similarly hit balls find the gloves of opposing players. They’re looking to make those small plays that don’t show up in the box score…

…and perhaps the Orioles aren’t. You can excuse an error because you have a shot at getting the guy out a moment later with a ground ball double-play. But that’s not happening – instead either the next hitter is reaching on a base hit, or he blows down the line and is called safe at first base (staying out of the double-play).

The Orioles aren’t looking for that base hit with a runner on third, or even for a walk. They’re looking for the big blow. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but opposing teams are taking advantage of their aggressiveness. Whereas the O’s are sitting on fastballs, pitchers are throwing pitches that look like fastballs – and which eventually sweep low-and-away, or have the bottoms fall out from underneath them. These things need to change if the Orioles are going to improve this season.

The series in Anaheim concludes this evening from Angels stadium. Chris Tillman gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Anaheim’s Jamie Barria – who’s going to be called up from triple-A to make the start. (What could go wrong there?) Game time is set for just after 10 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: If the Birds sell who is possibly in play?

With the manner in which the season has started, many fans are screaming for the Baltimore Orioles to sell. Before I go any further, let me remind you that it’s only the end of April. Granted things have started out as poorly as they could for this team (regarding things that are both controllable and non-controllable), however it’s only April. Even teams that ultimately sell aren’t about to do it now, because it sends a horrible message to you the fans.

But let’s say that the Orioles go ahead and break up the band at some point closer to the deadline. It would be a given that the likes of Manny Machado would be in play. In fact, he’d probably be the guy on whom the Birds would be most focused in terms of moving. You might even move someone like Adam Jones, who’s contract is up at the end of the season. (That sounds tough to hear for sure; but mind you that the O’s could re-acquire Jones as a free agent if there was a mutual interest. And I think there would be.) Anyone else?

How about Dylan Bundy? Or Kevin Gausman? Not to mention Jonathan Schoop…?) Those names might sound more surprising than throwing Jones’ name out there. Of the “youngish” players the Orioles have, those are the most promising for sure. One would think that it would behoove the Orioles to keep them if in fact they decide to sell. Keep them and build around them, right?

In a perfect world, yes. But in the ever-changing landscape of sports and the world, sometimes apparently we have to think outside the box. As I said, those three names are probably the guys who have the most value to the Orioles moving forward. So…would they not have value also on the trade block?

Point being, I suspect that they’d give the Orioles the most bang for their buck in terms of a return haul. Machado or Jones are potentially half-season rentals for a team. Now they’ll still probably bring big league-ready talent in the form of a young minor leaguer. You aren’t going to trade one or both of them for a single-A prospect, which is a step away from a bag of balls.

But the likes of Gausman, Schoop, or Bundy are under team control going into the 2019 season. That makes them more than a half-season rental. And when it comes to trades, that makes one heck of a difference.

I’m not advocating that this takes place. It would leave one heck of a hole in the franchise, and in the immediacy of today it would leave one heck of a hole in the starting rotation and lineup. Furthermore, teams generally like to get pitching in return for a superstar player. So would it make that much sense to sell pitching and get pitching in return?

Again, the point is that selling off some or even all of the aforementioned players would probably bring lots of major league-ready talent in return. And potentially re-stock the Orioles’ farm system as well. But I maintain that all of these decisions come back to one man: Buck Showalter.

Regardless of what we’re seeing on the field now, next year’s managing job is Buck’s if he wants it. I think that John and Lou Angelos (and Peter) would re-sign him now to some sort of extension if he said he wanted to remain in the dugout. And if that were to be the case, he would have a significant say in how the roster shapes up.

In saying that, he’ll probably want some sort of continuity. Now on the flip side, if Buck decides to hang ’em up (or move to the front office, which is also an option I think the Angelos’ would offer him), then I see the Orioles going with a much younger manager next season. Probably a guy who’s been a bench coach for awhile and who the industry feels is ready to take the plunge and become a manager.

And if that ends up being the case, then perhaps they do in fact decide to sell off more pieces – so as to allow that guy (whomever he ends up being) to start from scratch. Young team, young manager. And here’s the other thing folks; I say that as someone who doesn’t put much faith in youth. I’d just as soon as not deal with the brashness and inexperience of youth, as opposed to the steady hand of experience – such as Buck, such as Adam Jones, et al. But going the youth route makes sense, if Buck isn’t the manager next year. Time will tell.

Baltimore Orioles: Season of woes continues

Baltimore Orioles’ starters have needed to be perfect thus far in 2018. And I don’t mean that figuratively; it’s intended to be interpreted literally. And on this night, Dylan Bundy was far from perfect. Bundy’s line: 4.2 IP, 11 H, 8 R (7 earned), 1 BB, 4 K.

It was a rare poor outing for Bundy, and his first of the season at that. You can accept that – as an isolated point, that is. However with how the Orioles offense has struggled, and how things have just seemed to go wrong for this team across the board in games, it just makes the hurdle tougher to climb and overcome. But that’s what these Orioles are tasked with doing for the rest of the season.

The Orioles haven’t been able to get out of their own way, and that was true from the outset tonight. Bundy walked the lead off hitter, and then Cron smacked a two-run homer in the first. Tampa then led off the second with a double, followed by another two-run homer, this one by Ramos. Tampa would also tack on runs in the third and fourth, and when the smoke cleared the O’s trailed 6-0.

However if there’s a silver lining to this game, it’s that the Orioles perhaps started to battle back. Trey Mancini would smack an RBI-double, and Manny Machado an RBI-single in the third. However that’s as close as the O’s would get – at that moment, Tampa would put two runs right back up on RBI-singles in the fifth (which were aforementioned).

After Bundy departed, the Orioles’ bullpen did in fact hold things over. And then the O’s began to come back again. Adam Jones smacked a two-run homer in the fifth, and Danny Valencia a solo shot in the last of the eighth. Tampa would tack one more run on in the ninth on an errant throw by Sisco at the plate trying to throw Gomez out as he tried to steal third. The throw went into left field, allowing Gomez to score.

It goes as another loss, but the bats did attempt to snap out of their funk. Now with that said, they were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. They also grounded into four double-plays, all of which came with runners in scoring position. That has to change moving forward.

The Orioles once again seemed to run into a hot team, hellbent on success. And that no doubt comes from youthful exuberance in a sense. They had an answer for everything the Orioles did – and the Orioles did some good things in this series. However it makes one wonder when the Birds might morph into that team hellbent on winning.

The O’s will open up a three-game set with the Detroit Tigers at home tomorrow night. Chris Tillman gets the call for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Detroit’s Mike Fiers. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: 14 strikeouts and small wonders beat the Birds (updated)

The Baltimore Orioles got another good effort out of Dylan Bundy this afternoon. This one of course in less-than-great conditions. Bundy’s line: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R (1 earned), 2 BB, 6 K.

It took Bundy nine pitches to record the first four outs of the game. And by that time they already had the lead. Manny Machado‘s RBI-double in the first inning gave the O’s a 1-0 lead. And that of course came because Trey Mancini once again got on board to lead off the game. The Birds have their lead off hitter; they just need to gain some steam in the bats behind him.

Boston would mount a bit of a rally, or an attempt at one at least, in the second. Bundy gave out a one-out double and a walk. He then struck out the third hitter, and induced the next one to pop out to third base. In case you’re scoring at home, that’s how you kill a rally!

Boston’s Lin would get credited with a single in the fifth inning, however in my personal opinion it was a play that third baseman Danny Valencia could have and should made. Valencia muffed what appeared to be a routine ground ball, allowing a one-out base runner. (Lin would later be replaced at first base by Bradley, who reached on a fielder’s choice.) While the ball did appear to kick up just a bit on the heel of Valencia’s glove, that’s a play that he has to make…

..especially seeing that Benintendi’s RBI-triple a moment later tied the game at one. It’s those little things which will eat a team alive. Not to mention later in the inning when Bundy uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Benitendi to score from third. That gave Boston the lead, which was later extended to 3-1 on Lin’s sixth inning RBI-double.

And the Orioles couldn’t muster much else, so they fell once again on this cold Sunday afternoon in Beantown. All in all, the Birds struck out 12 times. It’s tough to win a game when doing that. On top of the twelve strikeouts, the O’s almost stubbornly looked at pitch after pitch in the later innings, adding to the massive strikeout totals. Why is that an issue more than anything else?

And the answer is because many of those pitches weren’t strikes. The zone expanded as the game wore on, probably because of the weather. If it was remotely close to the strike zone, it was getting called a strike. Boston seemed to recognize this, and was able to muster a few base runners. However the Orioles seemed stuck on what they interpreted as the strike zone. And admittedly what they interpreted as the strike zone was in fact the strike zone. But you have to adapt to game conditions; one of those is the strike zone of the home plate umpire.

Also keep in mind that all things being the same, this game is 1-1 of not for some untimely mistakes by the Orioles (the Valencia muffed ball and the wild pitch). Now these mistakes themselves didn’t cost the Orioles the game. The Orioles being unable to overcome them is what cost them the game. But the moral of the story is not to make them in the first place.

On that note, what exactly do the Orioles do at third base? Is Valencia now the everyday third baseman with Tim Beckham filling in for Schoop at second? I would consider telling Machado to put his yearn to play shortstop aside and move him back to the hot corner. That has to be an option for the Orioles. But time will tell.

Weather permitting, the Orioles will conclude the series at Fenway tomorrow in a late-morning Patriot’s Day matinee. Andrew Cashner gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Brian Johnson. This game is in serious jeapardy given the forecast, but if it’s played (on time) it’s set to begin just after 11 AM.

UPDATE: Tomorrow’s game has officially been canceled. It will be made up on May 17th at 7:10 PM at Fenway Park.

 

Baltimore Orioles waste Dylan Bundy’s quality start in loss

The Baltimore Orioles need to figure out a way to win. Not in general, not this season, not anytime or anything other than one game. Teams go through good stretches and bad over the course of a season. However the Birds have started the year in a funk, which makes it feel like the dog days of August – when in fact fans should still be celebrating the return of baseball.

Unfortunately for the O’s, they wasted a quality start by Dylan Bundy this afternoon in Houston. For the second consecutive game, Bundy gave the Orioles a quality start, and for the second consecutive game, he left with a no decision. Bundy’s line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 earned), 2 BB, 8 K.

Adam Jones popped into a force out when his pop fly fell at the feet of the Houston outfielders. However that came with a runner on third base, which gave the O’s a 1-0 lead. Houston would tie it up one inning later on an RBI-ground out, however in the fourth Gentry would reach on an error with a runner at third, allowing the Birds to take the lead back at 2-1.

Houston would tie the game on a sac bunt-RBI in the sixth. And one inning later Bregman’s RBI-single would give them a 3-2 lead, which they never surrendered. At a certain point, you have to wonder if the O’s aren’t overly predictable. They look to bash the ball out of the park on every play. That’s their nature, and the fact is that in the division in which they play it has to be…

…but it also allows pitchers to know exactly what they’re going to throw. Houston ironically isn’t a team that bunts too often. That goes against the analytics that drive their game in terms of sacrificing outs. However they probably caught the Orioles off guard with that squeeze bunt. And it netted them a win.

Should bunting and playing the game one base at a time be the Orioles’ game plan? No. They’d get bludgeoned to death in their division. But it should be something that they do here and there. Because otherwise their offense remains predictable and stagnant.

Going back to Bundy for a moment, as I’ve said many times pitchers will usually have ten good starts, ten poor, and ten in between over the course of a season. Mind you, that’s not an absolute stat; but the O’s wasted a good start by Bundy today in a losing effort. That’s not something that can happen.

The O’s now head to the Bronx where they’ll open up a four-game series with the New York Yankees tomorrow night. Andrew Cashner gets the start tomorrow for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s Masahiro Tanaka. Game time is set for just after 6:30 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Dylan Bundy named Opening Day starter

Baltimore Orioles’ manager Buck Showalter has named an Opening Day starter. And it’s going to be Dylan Bundy. Mind you that Opening Day is only one game. However it’s certainly an honor for Bundy, and one that’s well deserved.

Bundy said that it wasn’t something that he expected, however he’s looking forward to the opportunity (quote courtesy of Britt Ghiroli, mlb.com):

Obviously I’m honored and humbled by it. Very excited. Going to have to control the emotions a little bit and just pitch my game.

Bundy was by far the Birds’ most consistent starter last year, joining the rotation for the first time in his career. He finished the season at 13-9, with an ERA of 4.24. If you look at the spring numbers this year, they indicate that Bundy has struggled – as an example, he has an ERA of 9.00. But Showalter doesn’t pay too much attention to spring stats, and ultimately it’s an honor that Bundy earned.

Tim Beckham left yesterday’s 10-7 victory over Boston after tweaking his groin. Buck Showalter said after the game that it was in essence done as a precaution, however the hope is that Beckham returns before the Orioles even break camp. Which incidentally is Monday morning – following their Grapefruit League finale against Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon in Clearwater.

The Birds of course will stop in Norfolk to play the Tides in a non-Grapefruit League exhibition game on Monday afternoon, and head back to Baltimore after that. Even though you want to continue the momentum of the spring immediately into Opening Day, I think that the couple of days off that they’ll have before Thursday’s opener is a good thing. It allows guys to get settled at home before going back out onto the field. And yes folks, we’re under a week before the opener!

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