Angels News: Dylan Bundy Finds Rhythm In First Win Since 2020
Dylan Bundy, Max Stassi, 2021 Season
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Dylan Bundy took the mound for the 11th time this season on Monday, still without a win. In his first 10 starts, he went 0-6 with four no decisions, despite some really good performances mixed in. Perhaps it’s the lack of run support that led to a dip in confidence and a subsequent drop-off in production.

In Bundy’s last four starts prior to Monday, he’s had an ERA of 12.33, allowing an opponent OPS of 1.144. Bundy desperately needed something to go his way against the Kansas City Royals. He got that in the form of four first-inning runs by the Angels offense, but gave two of those right back in the second. Jose Suarez even started warming up to replace him, before Bundy retired six straight and pitched four scoreless frames in a row.

While his outing was certainly flawed, he picked up his first win of the season and a renewed confidence from manager Joe Maddon, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:

“There was a lot of hard contact,” Maddon said. “He did not seem comfortable. … He didn’t lose his composure. He didn’t lose his confidence. He just kept getting better. I believe the latter part of today’s game is the Dylan Bundy game we’ve been used to and we will expect in the future. I believe it’s a really good game for him to build off.”

Catcher Max Stassi — who had a phenomenal offensive performance — threw his support behind Bundy and the work he puts in between starts.

“I thought he was outstanding,” Stassi said. “He’s the same old guy that we’re used to. Everyone kind of goes through things throughout the course of the season. Nobody’s perfect. He works his tail off in between starts and wants to give us the best chance to succeed. I’m extremely happy for him going forward. He’s one of our guys and we’re counting on him big time.”

Again, Bundy was not perfect during Monday’s start. But, by limiting the amount of runs allowed and grabbing a win, he showed that he has still has the ability to control games. Over the last few weeks, the Angels starting rotation outside of Bundy has been really good, and getting 2020 Bundy back would solidify things in a big way.

The Angels have also been winning games with more consistency. Since the injury to Mike Trout, they are 11-10 and are now just four games below .500.

Patrick Sandoval making case to be part of rotation

With the exception of Shohei Ohtani, the Angels don’t have a true ace. Even Ohtani doesn’t pitch quite enough to be considered an ace. What they have put together this year is a larger collection of promising starters that can get the team wins.

Not only do they have the six they started the season with, they also have Patrick Sandoval making a real case with four quality starts in a row. It’s unclear if room will be made for him in the full-time rotation, but now is as good a time as any with the way he’s playing.

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