Now Dylan Bundy needs to build on good starts to his starts

For the second outing in a row, Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy had a real encouraging start to his start. But once again, he could not keep it going. Two outings ago at home versus Oakland, Bundy had a shutout and no-hitter through three innings. His slider was sharp and he got five of his first nine outs on strikeouts. Last night he had a strong pitch mix to get through three without allowing a run or hit versus Tampa Bay.

But against Oakland, Bundy allowed six runs and four homers over the next two innings plus two batters. Last night he gave up three runs in the fourth, including a two-run homer to Avisaíl García before pitching a scoreless fifth.

Why is Bundy starting so well and looking so good, only to have it turn on him? Are the batters becoming that potent against him after facing him just one time? Is he just not able to maintain the strong command he has shown early on in those games? Is something else happening here?

A look at the stats this year, inning-by-inning versus Bundy:

First: Allows .083 average and 2.25 ERA.
Second: Allows .071 average and 0.00 ERA.
Third: Allows .250 average and 4.50 ERA.
Fourth: Allows .429 average and 13.51 ERA.
Fifth: Allows .444 average and 9.00 ERA.
Sixth: Allows 1.000 average and an ERA of infinity (2 runs with 0 outs recorded).

Dylan-Bundy-gray-sidebar.jpgSumming up some of the numbers, in the first three innings of his starts in 2019 he has allowed a .143 batting average with an ERA of 2.25. In innings four-through-six he yields a .480 batting average and an ERA of 15.20.

The Orioles and Bundy have to fix this and right now they simply need more time to do it. If he can look good in the first few innings, there must be a way to keep that going or at least minimize the offense teams have put on him in the middle innings.

This is all produced so far on the small sample size of four starts. We need more time for Bundy and the new front office and coaching staff to figure this out. It’s too soon to pass judgements on how his season will go. I would think the Orioles have to be very encouraged by most of what they saw last night. One bad pitch that left the park cost him two runs. But of course he can’t take it back. It happened.

He is now 0-2 with an ERA of 7.79 and has allowed seven homers in 17 1/3 innings. It’s very likely that Bundy is not going to ever throw 96 or 98 mph much again. He’s going to be 90 to 92 mph as we’ve seen in most of his starts since the 2017 season.

His last two starts have begun with Bundy looking like a solid starting pitcher. Now the Orioles, pitching coach, staff and the pitcher need to figure out how to get more of that out of him moving forward.

Delmarva wins, again: Yep, the Shorebirds just keep winning. They went to the last of the eighth last night trailing Kannapolis 3-2 and they scored four runs to win 6-4. Delmarva is 10-1 and has won eight in a row. In that big inning Delmarva used three walks, a wild pitch and a couple of hits to rally.

Left fielder Will Robertson went 3-for-4 with a double, homer and two RBIs. Right-hander Tyler Joyner got the win in relief with a scoreless eighth inning. He is 3-0 and has thrown 7 1/3 scoreless innings with nine strikeouts.

With the win the Shorebirds are on their longest winning streak since taking eight straight against Rome, Augusta and Rome again on July 17-25, 2017. The last time they won nine in a row was Aug. 25 through Sept. 2, 2016.

At 10-1 Delmarva has the best winning percentage (.909) in all of Minor League Baseball. Six of Delmarva’s 11 games this season have been decided in the winning team’s last at-bat, and the Shorebirds have won five of them.

Ryan Mountcastle homered for the second night in a row as Triple-A Norfolk beat Durham 7-6. Rylan Bannon went 4-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs as Double-A Bowie lost 6-5 to Erie. Ryan Ripken had three hits including a three-run homer as Single-A Frederick beat Myrtle Beach 8-2. Winning pitcher Brenan Hanifee allowed one run and two hits over five innings.

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