Brad Bergesen pitched the best game of his young career tonight, pitching 8 shut out innings and earning his third win on the year. After seeing the awful starting pitching and pathetic offense the past few games, Brad obviously decided that if the Orioles were going to win, it was all on him. He finished the game with 0 walks and 6 strikeouts, allowing only 5 hits.
I had hoped that Bergesen would get a chance for the complete game, but Dave Trembley pulled him after the 8th with 97 pitches and sent George Sherrill in to finish the ninth. In his post game press conference, Trembley said that he was thinking about sending Bergesen out for the 9th until he saw how Brad pitched the 8th. In both a single to Franklin Gutierrez and a line out by Ichiro, Brad's pitches were up in the zone and Dave didn't want to risk sending him out for the 9th out of gas. Agree or disagree, Dave at least had sound logic beyond, "Sherrill pitches the 9th because he's the closer."
This was Bergesen's third straight great start. Here is his line over those three games: 23 IP, 17 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 12 K. Not too shabby, Brad. It's worth mentioning that Brad's three great starts have all been since he was reunited with his minor league catcher Matt Wieters. It's said that Matt Wieters knows the pace at which Bergy likes to work and helps facilitate that. Combine that with what I would imagine is an increased comfort level and you get Bergesen's last three starts. Whether that's true or bunk is anyone's guess, but I know I'm getting pretty used to seeing those guys play so well together.
Speaking of Matt Wieters, he added two hits to his total tonight, although one was a pop up that fell between the pitcher, first baseman, and catcher on the infield. Matt, running his hardest on the pop up, hilariously got thrown out at 2nd trying for a double. Had the Orioles not won the game it might be less amusing, but they did so there.
Luckily for the Orioles, that other rookie in the lineup had a better night than Matt Wieters. With the O's up 1-0 in the 5th inning, Nolan Reimold hit his 7th home run of the year into the Orioles bullpen. He came to bat again in the 6th with runners on first and third and singled in Aubrey Huff to increase the Orioles lead to 3-0.
The only Mariners run came in the 9th off of George Sherrill. George allowed a double and an RBI single in the 9th to lose the shutout, but held on for the win. I'm going to cut George some slack as he hadn't allowed a run since May 2nd, a span of 12 games. If he can go the rest of the year giving up just 2 runs every 14 games I will certainly be satisfied.
Slump Buster Watch '09!
- Brian Roberts, who was 2-22 on the road trip, started the game looking like vintage Brian Bob. He lined a double down the left field line to start the game, stole third, and scored on Adam Jones' ground out. He ended the game 1-4.
Nick Markakis, in the midst of the worst slump of his career, showed some signs of life. He walked in the first inning, just his fifth walk since May 15th. He added a single in the 7th on a sweet looking swing.
- Aubrey Huff, who is sporting a negative VORP on the year (-0.7) singled up the middle and scored a run tonight.