Kyle Bradish continues dominance vs. Astros, finishes one out shy of complete game in Orioles’ 2-0 win – The Denver Post


When Kyle Bradish last faced the Houston Astros, he delivered eight scoreless innings amid the most impressive stretch the Orioles have received from their rotation this season.

Perhaps that group is en route to topping it.

A night after Jordan Lyles pitched a one-run complete game against the Detroit Tigers, Bradish opened a four-game set against Houston by coming an out shy of a complete game in a 2-0 victory, with both runs coming on a Rougned Odor single off Cy Young Award candidate Justin Verlander in the second inning.

Bradish, a 26-year-old rookie right-hander, did not allow a base runner until the sixth inning, when Mauricio Dubón singled in front of left fielder Terrin Vavra with two outs, then did not permit another Astro to reach until there were two outs in the ninth while striking out 10.

“It was a fun, fun day to be a part of,” catcher Adley Rutschman said.

Manager Brandon Hyde’s decision to pull Bradish after Jeremy Peña’s single on his 100th pitch prevented what would have been the Orioles’ first consecutive nine-inning complete games since Sidney Ponson and Juan Guzmán in June of 1999. They settled for Baltimore’s first back-to-back eight-inning performances since Chris Tillman and Scott Feldman in July 2013.

In two matchups with Bradish, the top team in the American League has failed to score over 16 2/3 innings, recording four hits with 16 strikeouts. His performance Thursday kept the Astros from reaching 100 wins, while with their 78th victory, the Orioles became the first team since 1900 to win that many games a season after losing at least 110 times. Baltimore (78-71) trails the Seattle Mariners by four games for the final AL wild-card spot with 13 left in the season and needs to finish with more wins than the Mariners because Seattle holds the season tiebreaker.

Bradish tweaked the formula somewhat from his late August outing in Houston. He retained heavy usage of his slider while also working in his curveball more, deploying both breaking balls more than his four-seamer. His sinker, a pitch he only began using this month to keep right-handers from leaning out on his slider, featured heavily as well.

“He’s got his fastball going in two different ways now,” Hyde said. “When it’s 96-97 [mph], and it’s going left or going right now and with the sinker, it’s just super hard to hit. They can’t stay out over the plate on him anymore. And his breaking balls are so good that he can throw both of them and get swing-and-misses. The changeup is a little bit hard, kind of like a normal person’s two-seamer, but then he’s got the two-seamer now that’s mid-90s, and you see guys getting tough takes because they’re looking out over the plate. He’s just really learning how to pitch, and that was a lot of fun to watch tonight. I wish he could have finished it.”

Added Bradish: “When you’ve got four or five pitches working for you, it’s pretty easy out there.”

The Astros put only three balls in play against Bradish at 100 mph or more, with Dubón’s single not among them. At 76.5 mph, it was the third-weakest contact Houston made off Bradish, but it was lofted in such a way that Baseball Savant gave it an expected batting average of .920.

Otherwise, Houston hardly threatened against Bradish as he retired 26 of the first 27 batters before Peña brought the tying run to the plate, prompting Hyde to turn to closer Félix Bautista for a game-ending strikeout of Aledmys Díaz to leave slugger Yordan Alvarez on-deck. Hyde said he planned to pull Bradish if anyone reached base in the ninth, and the rookie said he was aware of that arrangement.

In a six-start span bookended by his outings against the Astros, Bradish has a 1.64 ERA, with a 2.67 mark in 11 starts since coming off the injured list for right shoulder inflammation in late July.

“I wasn’t too happy that I didn’t finish it, but I completely understand,” Bradish said. “Every time I go out there on the mound, I expect to finish the game. Pitch count hasn’t really been there lately, but today, I put myself in a position to do it.”

He said he realized the potential for a strong outing Thursday around the third inning, just after Odor, making his first start in five games, provided a lead by snapping an 0-for-15 skid with a two-run, two-out single. Bradish worked efficiently while racking up double-digit strikeouts without walking a batter for the second time this year, joining Tom Phoebus, Jim Palmer, Steve Stone, Mike Mussina and Erik Bedard as Orioles with multiple such outings in a season. He’s the first Baltimore rookie to strike out 10 while allowing no walks or runs, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

His run of success largely coincides with a change in which he solely works out of the stretch while pitching from the first-base side of the rubber, a move he attributes to watching 2021 National League Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes.

“Just really simplified his delivery, and now you’ve seen him pitch with a ton of confidence,” Hyde said. “He’s got that kind of stuff every time out.”


Friday, 7:05 p.m.


Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM



Source link