Close this search box.

Paid Advertisement

Close this search box.

October dream of Burnes, Bradish, Rodriguez on display for Tampa Bay sweep

Podcast Audio Vault

From the moment the Orioles announced the acquisition of 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes two weeks before the start of spring training, the October daydreams began.  

Burnes, Kyle Bradish, and Grayson Rodriguez.

A rotation trio that could stack up against just about anyone in the postseason. 

We didn’t get to see it until June because of injured list stints for both Bradish and Rodriguez, but the four-game sweep over Tampa Bay featured those three starting back to back to back for the first time, albeit in a different order than fans pictured back in February. The results were as impressive as anyone envisioned, however. 

On Saturday, Bradish struck out nine over six innings of one-hit ball. 

Rodriguez took a perfect game into the sixth inning of Sunday’s victory. 

And Burnes once again pitched like every bit of an ace on Monday night, allowing just two unearned runs and completing seven innings for the third straight outing to lower his season ERA to a tiny 2.08. The 29-year-old has been all general manager Mike Elias and the Orioles hoped he would be.  


The three combined to allow just two earned runs, seven hits, and two walks while striking out 21 over 18 2/3 innings to complete the sweep of the Rays in St. Petersburg. Not to be forgotten, lefty Cole Irvin — a 2024 unsung hero thus far with a 2.87 ERA — allowed two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings to register the win on Friday night.

As Buck Showalter would often say, “That’s what it looks like.” 

Now, it’s a matter of them making it to October healthy. 

Prior to Saturday’s dominant performance, Bradish was pushed back a couple days, leading many to wonder if health was a concern. Of course, the 27-year-old missed the start of the season with a ulnar collateral ligament sprain in his right elbow that was discovered in January, but his return has been very impressive to this point as he’s pitched to a 2.62 ERA and struck out a whopping 12.8 batters per nine innings. That strikeout rate eclipses that of Chicago White Sox lefty Garrett Crochet, the major league leader among qualified pitchers.  

Angst will persist over Bradish’s ability to navigate a full season — especially in the wake of the recent news about John Means and Tyler Wells — but he’s looked as dominant as ever. 

Rodriguez has lowered his season ERA to 3.27 since returning from an early May IL stint due to right shoulder inflammation. And while he ran out of gas in the sixth inning of Sunday’s 9-2 win, his ability to dominate for such stretches is what you’re looking for in an October setting. 

Meanwhile, Burnes has been the model of excellence, allowing three runs or fewer in all 14 of his starts and completing at least six innings in 11 of them. The three-time All-Star pitcher was better in May (2.17 ERA) than he was in April (2.55), and he’s allowed just one earned run over his first 14 June innings. 


Many lauded Burnes as Baltimore’s first true ace since Mike Mussina, and no one is pushing back against that sentiment a little over four months since the trade with Milwaukee. But Bradish and Rodriguez have looked the part of excellent No. 2 and 3 options. 

Just get these guys to October. 

Taking nothing for granted 

With Monday’s win to conclude a 6-2 road trip, Baltimore improved to a season-high 21 games over .500.

The Orioles entered Tuesday ranked first in the majors in runs scored per game (5.17) and fourth best in runs allowed per game (3.57). Brandon Hyde’s club is on pace to win 107 games and owns the third-best run differential in the majors at plus-104, reinforcing there’s been nothing fluky about the prosperity. 

A key to that success has been minimizing the rough patches. Since suffering their first regular-season sweep in more than two years last month, the Orioles have gone 14-4. And after losing the final two games in Toronto to settle for a four-game split last week, they swept Tampa Bay in relatively convincing fashion.  

Not only have the Orioles lost no more than three straight games — that sweep in St. Louis — all season, but they’ve lost two in a row only four other times. Of course, they’ll need to continue to be this good with the New York Yankees still leading the AL East by 2 1/2 games. 

Meanwhile, after battling into the final week of the 2023 season for the division crown, the Rays are a season-low four games under .500 and already 15 games out of first place. The Blue Jays haven’t been much better despite also qualifying for the postseason last year. 

That the Orioles have followed their first 100-plus-win season since 1980 with such a superb start to 2024 speaks to the talent and makeup of this club. But nothing is guaranteed the rest of the way. 

Share the Post:

Paid Advertisement

Latest News

Finding old friends and new memories at Max's Taphouse during Fleet Week

Even though it will always be "Max's On Broadway" to an old music critic, Ron Furman of the current and longtime Max's Taphouse tells Nestor about the magic of Broadway and Fell's Point during Fleet Week from Kooper's Tavern on…

Father's Day, golf and crab cakes

As our Maryland Crab Cake Tour returned to Koco's Pub and Lauraville during Pride Week, Marcella Knight joins Tom Pierce of Classic Five Golf, Ricig and Nestor to discuss Father's Day and crab cakes and golf for the family.

Getting in on the Fell's Point fun of Maryland Fleet Week and Baltimore Pride

When it's tough to park and the hotels are full and the Phillies and Orioles are sold out all weekend, life is good in the land of pleasant living. Bill Cole joins Nestor for Maryland Fleet Week and Baltimore Pride…

Paid Advertisement

Scroll to Top