The Los Angeles Angels had won six straight games heading into Monday’s divisional clash against the Oakland Athletics. That win streak started when Dylan Bundy broke out of a slump to deliver his best performance since May 2. So there was reason to believe he had figured things out and would be able to keep the Angels’ momentum alive against the American League West leaders.
Bundy failed to respond in that way, instead delivering perhaps his worst performance of the season. He gave up seven earned runs on five hits and three walks over just 2.1 innings pitched. It was the second time in the last few weeks that Bundy was unable to get out of the third inning.
Bundy’s fastball velocity decreased significantly from his last start to Monday, seeing it dip below 90 for the first time this season. However, he believes that wasn’t his issue against the Athletics, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“I noticed it was down a little bit,” Bundy said. “I wasn’t too worried about it. I just didn’t have the normal carry on the fastball tonight.”
“I was throwing a lot more pitches down the middle and a lot of pitches off the plate that weren’t competitive,” Bundy said. “A mix between walks and throwing the ball right down the middle leads to a lot of runs on the board.”
The frustrated Angels starter said he’s going to figure out what needs to happen to bring back the 2020 version of himself.
“You always work on it,” Bundy said. “We throw two or three bullpens nowadays between starts. It’s not lack of work. We’re getting plenty of reps. When it comes down to it, I’m throwing balls down the middle that shouldn’t be there. They should be on the edge or off the plate and I’m not doing that now.”
Bundy could have gotten a huge payday had he been able to replicate his performance from the pandemic shortened 2020 season. However, his numbers are down across the board. He pitched 65.2 innings last season compared to 59.1 currently.
Last season, he had a 3.29 ERA, allowing 24 earned runs and five home runs with a strikeout to walk ratio of 72 to 17. This season, in just slightly less innings, he has a 6.98 ERA, giving up 46 earned runs and 14 home runs. His strikeout to walk ratio is 58 to 17.
It’s unclear exactly why, but Bundy is simply not the pitcher he was last season. He has some time to figure it out, but there is definitely reason for concern among fans and the organization.
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