CLEVELAND — Whether it registered with Dylan Bundy that his fastball velocity was uncharacteristically low in his previous start or not, the Orioles’ onetime flamethrower answered a week’s worth of questions by making an age-old adjustment: he just didn’t throw it as much.
With a dominant pitch mix that downplayed his hittable fastball, Bundy allowed just an unearned run and commanded both his pitches and the game in lasting into the sixth inning. That made home runs from Jonathan Villar and Stevie Wilkerson stand up for a 5-1 Orioles win over the Cleveland Indians on Friday at Progressive Field.
For years, pitchers have learned that mix is better than muscle when fastball velocity dips over time. Bundy has been dealing with that drop steadily over time, but couldn’t have combated it better than he did Friday.
While he threw a customary first-pitch fastball to Francisco Lindor, Bundy went right to his curveball and eventually his changeup for a strikeout to open Cleveland’s first. He threw just five fastballs in a 16-pitch first inning, and that pitch mix only changed slightly as things progressed.
Bundy left in the sixth inning with just the unearned run in on three hits with three walks and seven strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 4.66.
He threw his fastball just 40.7 percent of the time, according to Statcast data, although the average velocity was up to 90.6 mph. He featured his changeup more than he has in any start in his major league career
— Baltimore Sun