Tuesday, April 21, 2009

O's-White Sox, A Very Successful Debut For Bergy

With Alfredo Simon on the shelf and Radhames Liz very ineffective out of the bullpen, the Orioles called up right-hander Brad Bergesen to make his Major League debut. He pitched pretty well in Spring Training, and is 1-1 at Triple-A, with 11 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 9 K, 2.45 ERA. I'm expecting him to come out and throw his sinking fastball for strikes (54% groundball rate in AA and 63% in A-Ball last year), use his defense, and get knocked around occasionally.

Bergesen will be counted on to turn things around for the O's - who have lost five straight - against Jose Contreras (who always seems to flummox the Birds with his junk pitches) and the White Sox. At least, if the weather allows it.

Top 1:
  • Fine start for the 23 year-old, getting Chris Getz to groundout to third on a 2-0 pitch.
  • Bergesen jams Josh Fields and gets him to ground back to the mound.
  • I didn't think he could throw so hard, but Bergesen got Carlos Quentin to swing and miss at a 94 mph fastball up in the zone before Quentin starts fouling off a whole bunch of pitches. Eventually Bergesen gets him swinging with a good slider down and away.
  • Seeing that inning unfold, it's not that easy to argue that Adam Eaton deserves a spot in the rotation over Bergesen.
Bottom 1:
  • Brian Roberts grounds out to second.
  • Luis Montanez, who was called up to take the place of the injured Ryan Freel and is in LF, grounds out in front of the plate. Adam Jones' hamstring is apparently still sore.
  • Nick Markakis inside-outs a pitch and gets on with a bloop single over the third-baseman.
  • Aubrey Huff grounds out to first to end the inning.
Top 2:
  • Jim Thome grounds out to short.
  • Jermaine Dye walks on four pitches.
  • Paul Konerko bounces to Wigginton at third, who starts the easy double play.
  • Two innings in the books for Bergesen, and I have to say that (while it's early) I could get used to watching games like this.
Bottom 2:
  • Ty chases an 0-2 slider out of the zone for strike three.
  • Luke Scott goes the other way with a single to left-center.
  • Gregg Zaun fouls a ball off his leg and collapses to the ground. He hops around for a while, but eventually gets back in the box and flies out to deep right-field.
  • Felix Pie shows some patience and draws a walk.
  • Cesar Izturis grounds out to leave two on-base.
Top 3:
  • AJ Pierzynski grounds out to second.
  • Alexei Ramirez grounds out to third, with Wigginton making a nice back-hand stop.
  • Great sinker on the inside corner gets Brian Anderson looking.
  • Work fast, throw strikes, change speeds. And get groundballs.
Bottom 3:
  • Roberts grounds out to second again.
  • Montanez chases an 0-2 fastball way outside. He doesn't look as good at the plate as I expected, given his modest Triple-A success this year.
  • Nick Markakis grounds up the middle, but the second baseman was shaded over towards first a little and the ball gets through for his second single of the game.
  • A bomb right down the right-field line by Huff gives the O's a 2-0 lead.
  • Wigginton pops out to end the inning.
Top 4:
  • Getz starts the fourth with a walk.
  • Great sinker down and in gets Fields swinging.
  • Groundball to third should have been another double play, but Ty can't handle the play. Runners on the corners with one out for Thome.
  • A pitch right down the middle is called a ball, but Bergesen comes back to that tailing fastball and gets Thome looking.
  • He has a chance to get out of it - and gets a groundball - but it goes up the middle for a single (the first Chicago hit of the game) to bring in a run.
  • Another single passed a diving Roberts brings in Quentin, but Nick Markakis guns down the runner at third to end the inning.
  • The score is back even at 2-2, but no runs should have scored in that inning.
Bottom 4:
  • Scott draws a walk.
  • Zaun grounds to the right side, with Getz making a diving stop and throwing him out at first.
  • Pie grounds out to first.
  • Izturis lines out to first.
  • The O's can't make their lead-off walk pay off.
Top 5:
  • AJ grounds through the right side for a single. Kind of wish the O's infield defense was better.
  • Ramirez, with the first hard-hit ball off Bergesen, doubles down the third-base line.
  • Groundball to short lets the runner score from third on the throw to first to get Anderson.
  • Getz gets crazed by an inside fastball and goes to first.
  • Fields flies out to deep right.
  • Quentin grounds out to short, but the Sox have taken a 3-2 lead.
Bottom 5:
  • Roberts draws a four-pitch walk.
  • Montanez falls behind 0-2 and grounds out to short. I'd rather he not continues hitting second - I see no reason not to just move Markakis up in the line-up while Jones is out.
  • Speaking of Nick, he drives a double into the right-center field gap to tie the game.
  • Huff gets the intentional walk with first-base open and the righty on-deck.
  • Wigginton pops out. He did not look comfortable at all against Contreras' side-arm breaking-balls.
  • Scott singles sharply passed Getz at second to bring in Markakis and give the O's back the lead.
  • Zaun grounds out to third to end the inning.
Top 6:
  • Thome drives a ball to deep center, but Pie is able to run it down at the wall (despite taking an indirect route out there).
  • Dye grounds out to short. That'll be Bergesen's last batter - with Paul Konerko coming up Dave Trembley will go to Danyz Baez out of the pen. Very impressive debut for Berg.
  • Konerko grounds out weakly to first.
Bottom 6:
  • Pie grounds out to first.
  • Izturis draws a walk.
  • Cesar steals second, and goes to third as the throw from the catcher goes into center-field.
  • Roberts draws his second walk of the game.
  • Montanez pulls a pitch down the third-base line for a double - Roberts stops at third but Izturis comes in to score and extend the lead to 5-3. They're bringing in the lefty Clayton Richard to face Markakis, who's 3-3 thus far.
  • The White Sox bring the infield in, but Nick shoots a ball the other way right through it to make it 6-3.
  • Huff hits a hard groundball, but it goes right to the shortstop who starts the inning ending double play.
Top 7:
  • Chris Ray out for the eighth. This makes the decision to use Baez last inning even more confusing. Why not have let Bergesen pitch to at least Konerko, if not Pierzynski?
  • AJ flies out to deep left-field.
  • Ramirez lines the first pitch he sees into left for a single.
  • Ray blows a fastball by Anderson, but Ramirez steals second on the 3-2 pitch as Zaun's throw bounced in to second.
  • Getz grounds up the middle, with Roberts making a sliding stop and barely throwing him out at first to end the inning.
Bottom 7:
  • Wigginton grounds out to short.
  • Scott lines a single into left-field. It looks like he's working on going the other way today.
  • Zaun singles to left, batting right-handed for the first time in the game.
  • Pie bounces out to second.
  • Izturis doubles down the first-base line to really break the game open; 8-3 O's.
  • Roberts grounsd back to the mound for the third out.
Top 8:
  • Jim Johnson in for the eighth, despite the five run lead.
  • Fields goes down swinging at an inside fastball.
  • Quentin draws a walk.
  • Nice change-up gets Thomes swinging. I didn't think JJ really used that pitch out of the pen, but it had some good sink and tail on it.
  • Nasty sink on a two-seam fastball at the knees gets Dye looking. JJ strikes out the side in impressive fashion.
Bottom 8:
  • Montanez grounds out to second.
  • Wow. 4-4 on the day and with a 8-3 lead in the ninth, Nick works a walk. You'd think maybe he'd swing for the fences.
  • Like Aubrey Huff, who goes yard for a second time tonight. 10-3, O's.
  • Wigginton grounds back to the mound.
  • As does Scott. I think they added enough insurance runs, though.
Top 9:
  • Brian Bass closes out the game with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Nice to be back in the win column. Brad Bergesen was tremendous (5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) and his 10-2 groundball to flyball ratio will play very well once the weaather heats up at Camden Yards. It's only one game, but I'm slightly more confident in his ability to stick around as a major league starter.

On offense, everyone in the line-up except Wiggy got on. Nick Markakis went 4-4 with a walk, 2 RBI, and 3 runs scored. Aubrey Huff hit a pair of two-run home runs, and walked. Luke Scott had three hits and a walk. Very imperssive win for the Birds.

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