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Sunday August 15, 2010 9:16 pm

Bryan Bullington beats best for first career win




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB,

Bryan BullingtonBryan Bullington toppled the kings on Sunday afternoon. The Royals pitcher made his ninth career start and picked up just his first career win, taking down A.J. Burnett and his New York Yankees. Bullington stifled Yankee hitters for eight innings in an uncharacteristic show of dominance, earning a 1-0 win by allowing just two hits and a walk and collecting five strikeouts. The performance he delivered may earn him another start after making his first start of the season last Tuesday against the Angels.

Bullington was called up by the Royals in late June to replace Victor Marte in the bullpen and had seen limited work. He has been a starter with Triple-A Omaha, but has bounced back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen for must of his career. His career has consisted of a one-off appearance in 2005, followed by stints with the Pirates in 2007, Indians in 2008, Blue Jays in 2009 and now the Royals.

Across his “five” seasons in the majors, Bullington has thrown just 52 innings, mostly in one-off appearances. His defeat of the Yankees will make headlines, and will be mentioned by both clubs’ announcers the next time he makes an appearance, but outside of that, he’ll return to his role as an inning eater in whatever capacity his manager needs him to do so. The 29-year-old right-hander is the pitching equivalent of a utility position player.

This is not a guy that a GM will gamble on. At best he’s a role-filler, which is what he’s showing to be with Kansas City right now. He’s a starter, middle reliever and late-innings mop-up man; one of baseball’s underappreciated yet ultimately necessary positions. He’ll never make big money, nor see too many fans wearing his name on the backs of their jerseys, but he’s necessary. The Bryan Bullington’s of baseball set the table for the young prospects, and to think they’ll ever be anything more is a pipe dream.

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