The Baltimore Orioles will prepare for their second series of the season against the New York Yankees after sweeping their two-game set versus the Toronto Blue Jays.
Let’s talk about Bundy.
As the starting pitching goes for the Orioles, so does the team. So, when your starters go 12 1/3 innings, allowing 3 ER (2 while on the mound), 9 H, 4 BB with 12 SOs, it is a good start.
When those two pitchers are the pitchers of the future, it is even better.
Now, it is, of course, a very small sample size. Very small.
But, it is an excellent start. Bundy is especially masterful.
Bundy didn’t walk anyone. He had eight strikeouts. Even when he missed, it was close to the zone. Some could argue he could have easily had double digit strikeouts.
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Bundy used all of his pitches effectively, but the addition of his slider/cutter was another key weapon that he relied on frequently.
Dylan struck out the side in the first inning and had first pitch strikes to 19 of his first 22 batters faced (h/t to Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com for that nugget). He threw 99 pitches in seven complete innings.
The only run scored was in the third inning, when the Jays strung together three singles to take a 1-0 lead. None of the balls were well hit, with one just eluding J.J. Hardy‘s reach.
However, in the bottom of the inning Adam Jones, or Cap10 America to the rest of the world, would give the Orioles the lead for good with a two-run home run after a Jonathan Schoop lead-off single.
Britton allowed back-to-back singles before striking out Troy Tulowitzki on a pitch Tulo disagreed with and exchanged words with the home plate umpire. Then, a walk to Russell Martin loaded the bases for Steve Pearce, who had a pretty good series.
Pearce fouled off several pitches before hitting into the game-ending 6-4-3 double play, with Jonathan Schoop showing off his cannon for an arm to finish the game. Britton earned a save, his first, but has not been particularly sharp in either game in 2017.
Britton has faced 14 batters in the two games, covering three innings. He has allowed five hits, walked two and struck out two. His WHIP is an unsightly 2.333.
All of this from a guy who has the fifth-best total save streak in MLB history, and left up only 38 hits in all of 2016.
Again, small sample size. But, all the talk about Britton not feeling particularly comfortable and prepared for the start of the season has shown so far.
The good news for Britton is the team is putting him in positions to pitch and work his way out of it.
The bad news for fans is it is leading to some tense moments with the Orioles’ All-Star closer on the mound.
Britton will be fine, I believe.
Now, the attention turns to what Ubaldo Jimenez can do in his first start of 2017. Ubaldo had an uneven spring, but word is his mechanics have been very comfortable.
The Baltimore Orioles will go as their starting pitching goes. Let’s see what the third starter can bring in his first opportunity.