FREDERICK, Md - Frederick manager Orlando Gomez has been around baseball for many, many years but he admits that tonight’s game was special as Dylan Bundy made his Carolina League debut, getting the win as Frederick beat Salem 5-3 in front of 9,833 fans crammed into Harry Grove Stadium.
“Everyone was excited to see him pitch. Everyone. The people that came here to see him saw him put on a pretty good show,” he said after Bundy’s 78-pitch outing.
After not allowing any earned runs over his first 33 innings of pro ball, that streak finally ended for Bundy tonight when Salem cleanup batter Travis Shaw hit a two-run homer against him in the top of the fourth.
“I think it was a 1-1 pitch and it was a fastball that I was trying to go in on Shaw and I left it over the middle of the plate, and he took advantage of it. That is going to happen up here. Probably was a little more up than I wanted it,” Bundy said.
“You could say there are better hitters (here at this level). They have a plan going up to the plate. They try to get their pitch and you have to keep the ball low in the zone.”
Bundy went five innings, allowing six hits and the two runs. He didn’t walk a batter and fanned six. He has now allowed just 11 hits and four runs (two earned) over 35 innings between Delmarva and here.
Even though he never wants to give up a run, Bundy maybe can relax a bit more now that his earned run streak is over and his ERA went from 0.00 to 0.51 after 35 pro innings.
“Definitely. Giving up your first one or two runs in pro ball, it will happen to everybody. Now I can just focus on pitching my game,” he said.
There was a real buzz around the ballpark here today, even hours before the first pitch and the crowd, while falling short of the Keys’ single-game record of 11,006, still was Frederick’s largest since May 6, 2006.
“It was nice,” Bundy said. “Huge crowd tonight and everybody was cheering me on. This was great. I felt great. I had all my pitches working, all three pitches - the curve, changeup and fastball. Had pretty good command for the most part all night.”
Bundy also knew that the Orioles wanted to see him throw more non-fastballs tonight. Of 78 pitches (53 strikes), he threw 16 curves (10 for strikes) and seven changeups (five for strikes).
“A lot better,” he said of that mix of pitches. “Last outing, I only threw three off-speed pitches and the organization wanted me to throw my curve and changeup more. I feel like I did a good job of that, throwing it 1-2, 0-2 and getting a couple swing-and-misses and a couple of strikeouts on it.
“Today, it was real good. In past outings, the changeup has always felt like it’s been there for me but the curveball was kind of questionable. I really felt like I did a good job throwing it for strikes tonight. Sometimes I was late on my release point with that curve (in earlier outings).”
Gomez had not seen Bundy pitch much at all during spring training, but he got a good look at the 19-year-old right-hander tonight.
“He threw the ball outstanding. I was impressed, not only with his fastball but with his curveball. I thought he had a major league curveball today,” Gomez said. “One thing I was very impressed with also, he never lost his composure. He held runners on base. When a pitch was close where the umpire called it a ball, his composure was great. I was very impressed.”
Gomez said Bundy was actually throwing harder than the velocity readings on the scoreboard.
“When I saw some 94s on the board, I said this is probably 98. Our board is a little slow. His velocity was there. He’s going to be a helluva pitcher. Everyone was excited to see him pitch tonight,” Gomez said after Bundy’s second professional win.
Projecting ahead, Bundy’s next outing is scheduled to be next Friday night when the Keys play at Wilmington.