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Orioles pitcher Dylan Bundy takes the heat for poor finish to last season

Orioles pitcher Dylan Bundy isn’t interested in looking for excuses to explain away his late-season struggles, even if there are plenty available to everyone who suffered through last year’s 115-loss debacle.

“Well, I left a whole lot of balls up in the zone and just weren’t executing pitches, especially when I was ahead in the count, and I wasn’t finishing guys the way I know how to finish guys,’’ Bundy said during a media session at Orioles FanFest on Saturday.

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He could have blamed the ankle injury he suffered running the bases during an early-summer interleague game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Nope.

Near the end of the Orioles’ season-ticket holders’ Q&A with executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias and manager Brandon Hyde on Saturday at FanFest, a longtime Orioles fan boiled down their greatest challenge as simply as anyone could.

“Not at all,’’ Bundy said. “The ankle was totally fine. I was just not doing good. The ankle was 100 percent as soon as I came back. I just wasn’t able to get the ball where I needed to get it.”

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He could have chalked the whole frustrating second half to the total team-wide collapse that had to knock the motivational wind out of everybody who experienced it.

“I don’t like to look at it that way, as how it impacted my performance,” he said, “because I like to go out there and win as a team and with your teammates every day. But it was definitely hard and you could see it took a toll on certain people, myself included. But that’s in the past and now we’re looking forward to spring training.”

Bundy, 26, said he has spent a relaxing offseason catching up with family and — more recently — getting to know his new manager and pitching coach through texts and phone calls. He said he didn’t change his offseason routine much because he has generally gotten off to a good start each year, but needs to address why he has had trouble carrying that momentum deeper into the season.

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