As Dylan Bundy prepared to take the mound for his fifth start of the season, the 26-year-old righty was hoping that a quick start led to a far better finish this time around.
In his first four starts, Bundy has flourished in his first three innings. On pitches one through 50, Bundy has allowed a .108 batting average and just one home run. Pitches 51 and beyond? Those numbers explode to .467 and six.
We all know the 2018 numbers: a Major League-leading 41 home runs allowed and 16 losses to go along with an inflated 5.45 ERA. This season, Bundy is set to eclipse those numbers as he has allowed seven home runs among his 18 hits in just 17.1 IP. His ERA sits at 7.79 entering Sunday’s contest.
What nobody really talks about is that Bundy tied for the staff lead with 15 quality starts in 2018 (w/Alex Cobb), a feat he has yet to accomplish even once in the season’s first month.
Still, Bundy has pitched five innings in consecutive starts for the first time since August 26-September 1. While that isn’t the most staggering of stats, it is progress in the right direction. Sounds like the motto of the 2019 Baltimore Orioles.
What Bundy and the Orioles need to figure out is why Bundy appears so dominant in the game’s first three innings, and then the wheels fall off in the fourth. As the sweat pours down his face at an alarming rate, his fastball elevates and flattens, and often times ends up in the grandstands.
For Bundy, a former first-round pick and ace-in-training, his career certainly hasn’t gone the way he and the Orioles had planned. While there’s still time to right the ship and straighten him out, Sunday would be a good time to get things going in a different direction. Otherwise, the once highly-touted prospect could be on the outside looking in when the rebuild comes to fruition.