Bundy OK after heat exhaustion ends start

Suarez steps in, earns victory with 5 1/3 superb relief innings

June 29th, 2021

NEW YORK -- With unusually hot conditions at Yankee Stadium on Monday, right-hander left his start in the second inning of the Angels' 5-3 win with heat exhaustion.

With a gametime temperature of 90 degrees, and roughly 50 percent humidity, Bundy was visibly sweating throughout his outing. He had allowed two runs on four hits and was about to face DJ LeMahieu with two outs when he stepped off the mound before throwing a pitch. Bundy walked behind the mound and vomited before the training staff came out and removed him from the game.

Manager Joe Maddon was concerned but said Bundy was feeling better once he got to the clubhouse and was OK after the game.

"He's better," Maddon said. "I was really upset and concerned. But after he threw up, he felt better underneath. I guess heat exhaustion was part of the issue. He told me even after the first that he did not feel that good, but [he] went out for the second and just knew he might get ill, and he did. This guy is as tough as they come, and I've been singing his praises for a long time."

Left-hander José Suarez replaced Bundy and got LeMahieu to ground out to second to end the inning. Suarez went on to throw 5 1/3 innings, allowing one run on two hits with five strikeouts, saving the bullpen and helping the Angels to the much-needed victory.

“He was ridiculously great,” Maddon said. “When he came in, I wanted to make sure he had enough time. But he told me, ‘I got this,’ as I was walking off the mound. So, leaps and bounds for him. The best way I can describe it is, his brain finally showed up. His body has been here for a bit, but now who he is is starting to show up, and there’s no telling how good he’s going to be.”

Bundy has struggled this year, going 1-7 with a 6.78 ERA in 14 starts, whereas Suarez has excelled in long relief, posting a 1.98 ERA with 26 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings. Maddon said they’ll discuss Suarez potentially moving into the rotation, but no decisions have been made.

"It's absolutely something we have to discuss," he said. "I think he validated that he might be ready right now. This is going to require some more discussion. He is looking like a Major League starting pitcher."

Suarez, 23, entered with a career 7.99 ERA in 83 1/3 innings over the last two seasons but is finally showing why he was once considered a top pitching prospect.

"The biggest difference is trying to maintain my focus between each and every pitch," Suarez said through an interpreter. "That's really helped me a lot this year. Kind of staying calm on the mound."