When Kyle Bradish was selected to join the Orioles, John Means had undergone season-ending Tommy John Surgery, and Chris Ellis had to have season-ending shoulder surgery.
The Orioles’ No. 10 prospect had proven himself in the minors across 51 games. He had a winning record of 14-12, an ERA of 3.79 and had struck out 268 across 216.1 innings.
The success was there, and it seemed like a back-end starter or long relief bullpen arm would be his destination.
April 29, 2022, came, and Bradish would not only make his major league debut, he would be starting the game against AL East rival, the Boston Red Sox.
Bradish would pick up the loss but give a quality start. He would pitch six innings, allowing three runs, only two earned, with two strikeouts.
A decent outing that kept the Orioles in the game and showed the brass they have a big league pitcher who can handle himself every time you send him to the bump.
Bradish would follow his first start with a rocky second. Against a dangerous-hitting Twins team, the 6-foot-4 righty would last four innings, allowing four runs and striking out three with two walks.
The Orioles would win the game, but Bradish would not qualify for the decision. He had one bad inning but also got out of trouble with the lead in tack, exactly what was needed. He showed grit and kept fighting to complete his night.
Last night, Bradish would make a statement in his third start against the St. Louis Cardinals, one of the better all-around teams in the majors. The 25-year-old would prove he belongs in the rotation and that the Orioles’ long-awaited rebuild was starting to show signs of upward progress.
Bradish would pitch seven innings, five shutout innings, before the Cards would get on the board. He would throw 90 pitches, 64 for strikes, and absolutely dominated the Cards’ offense.
Keeping St. Louis’ lineup guessing all game, Bradish would strike out 11 batters, nine of them on swinging. The middle of the Cardinals’ lineup (Nolan Arenado, Juan Yepez and Tyler O’Niell) would go 1-for-11 with six strikeouts.
After a leadoff double and inside-the-park home run, Bradish would respond by striking out the side to end the sixth inning. He stood up to adversity and listening to over 30,000 screaming fans, he reached back and silenced the crowd.
Bradish would become just the second pitcher in major league history to strike out 11 batters in a game, without a walk in his first three starts of his career. Stephen Strasburg would be the first to accomplish the feat back in 2010.
Bradish would pick up his first career victory, as he led the Orioles to a 5-3 victory. This was just the first of what many fans hope are many more strong starts by the rookie; he already has two quality starts in three appearances.
Tyler Nevin, who homered in the game and spent 2021 and parts of this season in Norfolk with Bradish, had this to say about his teammate’s success.
Words many fans look forward to coming true, but also a sign that the wave of talent coming out of minor league system just might be better than we expected.
For Bradish, this is just another step forward in proving that “rookie” is just a word; he is a professional and is only making his team better with each start.
He is the first of the wave coming to majors this year, but he also is just the first page of the story back to the glory days of “Orioles Magic.” Bradish is here to stay, and last night proved the doubters wrong!
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