We’ve been keeping track of Dylan Bundy’s firsts because he’s started so well — he didn’t give up his first hit until his fifth professional start — so why not keep track of the first run too?
It came last night. It was unearned. And it wasn’t exactly a case of him getting knocked around: the runner reached on a wild pitch strike three, and came around on a couple of errors. Overall, Bundy struck out eight batters in three innings. He hit his pitch count, however, and had to come out.
So, through six professional starts, Bundy has now pitched 20 innings, given up that unearned run, has allowed only two hits and has struck out 33. Think he’s ready for the next level Mr. Duquette?
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.