The Orioles are flying south to Baltimore with little to be proud of, especially after getting blasted 12-1 by the Red Sox on Patriot’s Day earlier today. They leave winless, injured, and in the midst of a current five game losing streak. The Red Sox out scored the Orioles 30-14 throughout the four game series and if the losses weren’t enough, Adam Jones strained his hamstring and Ryan Freel took a pickoff attempt off of his head. The best part of the Orioles first road trip of the season is that it’s finally over!
Tomorrow the birds host the Chicago White Sox and there will be a new pitcher on the mound at Camden Yards making his major league debut. Clearly the Orioles starting pitching has been an enigma for them all season and as much as they hoped that they could keep their young pitching prospects buried in the minors for at least a few more weeks, reality has set in and it’s not pretty. Hopefully the call up of Brad Bergesen shows O’s fans that Orioles management is not willing to just fold on the 2009 season and give up, hopefully this move proves that enough is enough and they’re willing to push the envelope to avoid their twelfth straight losing season.
In Bergesen’s first two games pitching at AAA Norfolk, Bergesen has pitched well going 1-1 in 11 innings pitched, with a 2.45 ERA, and a three to one strikeout to walk ratio. Brad Bergesen’s pitching opponent will be veteran Jose Contreras who is over fifteen years older than Bergesen and has started over 150 career MLB games. No doubt Bergesen must pitch under control and limit the number of walks allowed to the White Sox, especially with power hitters like J. Dye, P. Konerko, J. Thome, and C. Quentin all capable of turning those walks into runs on the scoreboard. No matter what the outcome is tomorrow night, the bottom line is the Orioles need to fix their pitching problem immediately. If Angelos and MacPhail believe that they have the prospects already in place to do it, then lets see them pitch in the big leagues and see what happens. The call up of Brad Bergesen and tomorrows start is a step in the right direction for the franchise. Hopefully Bergesen can get the job done and pitch his way into a permanent role in the Orioles rotation, because anything is an improvement from who they currently have on the mound.
Does anybody remember Wilson Alvarez? In 1991 Alvarez pitched a no-hitter against the Orioles in only his second career start. Now, I’m not predicting a no-hitter from Bergesen tomorrow, but maybe they’ll get a little payback from their young prospect nearly eighteen years later. Can you tell I’m still not over that Alvarez no-hitter?