Don’t blame starter Dylan Bundy for the Baltimore Orioles’ loss last night. It’s really tough for a starting pitcher to hold things together when the bats don’t provide for any runs. Bundy turned in a quality start in fact and on paper last night, and he more than put the Birds in a spot to win. Bundy’s line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 7 K.
You just aren’t going to be much better than Dylan Bundy was last night, especially in a steady drizzle that was omnipresent during the game. Unfortunately however, one guy was just slightly better: Minnesota’s Santana. He pitched a complete game two-hit shutout against one of the best offenses in baseball. That shouldn’t take anything away from Bundy, however of course it did mean he took the loss as opposed to winning the game.
Minnesota got on the board in the top of the fifth with an RBI-single from Buxton. Two innings later they got a solo homer from Dozier. And that’s your ballgame in the sense of scoring The Orioles did take six walks, but combined with only two base hits they never really threatened. And unfortunately they’ve now dropped the first two games of the series.
But the good news is that with an afternoon game today, the Birds only used one reliever. Bundy was able to go seven innings, which really helped save the bullpen for today’s game. Buck Showalter discussed this after the game (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):
There’s just a rhythm to it, but like I’ve said many times, your momentum is who’s pitching for you and who you’re facing. You can be swinging the bats as good as can be swung and you get a guy like that on top of his game and it can make you look that way. That’s what’s frustrating about last night, because you knew you had two pitchers that had kind of been struggling. One of them was going to kind of semi-right the ship and one of them wasn’t.
The real benefit is that the Birds can be a bit more cavalier with the bullpen in a sense this afternoon, because tomorrow is an off day. So one way or another, the bullpen will be rested going into Friday’s series opener in Houston. So in that sense the O’s are in a good spot.
The aforementioned series finale with Minnesota is this afternoon at Camden Yards, as the O’s will try to salvage one. Chris Tillman gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Minnesota’s Jose Berrios. Game time is set for just after 12:30 PM.