There weren’t a whole lot of positives to take away from Baltimore Orioles pitcher Dylan Bundy’s start on Tuesday night, except maybe for the fact that it was so short that some fans who tuned in to the game late may have missed it.
And those fans should be considered the fortunate ones, as they were spared from watching Bundy’s 12-minute-long nightmare of a performance against the Kansas City Royals.
Bundy faced just seven batters and failed to get any of them out, giving up four home runs, two walks and an infield single before manager Buck Showalter decided he had seen enough and made a call to the bullpen.
Bundy’s night actually didn’t get off to that bad of a start, as left fielder Jon Jay led off the game with a single that didn’t even make it to the outfield. But things got considerably worse from there.
Right fielder Jorge Soler promptly hit a two-run home run, and the very next batter, third baseman Mike Moustakas, followed that up with a solo blast. Catcher Salvador Perez then decided to get in on the fun, swatting another solo shot.
After that third consecutive home run, Bundy must have realized he was leaving the ball out over the plate, so he overcompensated and walked the next two hitters — first baseman Lucas Duda and designated hitter Whit Merrifield.
Then, center fielder Alex Gordon brought Duda and Merrifield home with a three-run shot, and just like that, Bundy’s night was done.
It should be noted that Orioles reliever Mike Wright wasn’t particularly effective either. He let up three more runs in the inning, meaning that the Royals had a 10-run lead before the Orioles even came up to bat in the bottom of the first.
But all the attention was rightfully on Bundy, whose start was historically bad. In fact, according to Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first pitcher in modern MLB history to allow four home runs in a game while not getting anyone out.
It’s been a tough stretch for the pitcher, who started the year with a sparkling 1.42 earned run average through five starts but has since struggled mightily. Going into Tuesday’s game, he still had a solid 3.76 ERA, but due to his horrific start, it jumped up to 5.31.
“I was leaving pitches right down the middle and they were hitting them over the fence. I got us in a 7-0 early hole and couldn’t climb out of it,” Bundy said after the game, according to ESPN. “It seemed like (I’d throw) ball one, strike one and then — homer. I just have to work ahead of guys and I haven’t been able to do that the last three starts.”
Bundy has been dealing with a tight groin, but both he and his manager said that wasn’t the reason for his poor performance.
“Physically I’m fine,” Bundy said. “I’m just not executing the pitches I need to right now.”
“He feels good physically,” Showalter added, The Baltimore Sun reported. “I don’t think there’s been many people I’ve had less of an excuse-maker than Dylan. He never grabs hold of anything other than the mirror in front of him. It’s disappointing for him as much as anything.”
The Orioles went on to lose the game 15-7. It was their seventh consecutive defeat, and they currently have the worst record in baseball.
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