Bergesen Begins the Rebuilding at the Yard: Live Blog

April 21, 2009 | Tom Clayton

With the Orioles throwing guys like Adam Eaton and Mark” I’m 6’9” but cant hit 90 on the gun” Hendrickson on the mound this season fans have been clamoring to see an influx of young pitching.  Well tonight Birdland will get its first glimpse of what type of talent the Orioles have been developing on the mound down on the farm.  Twenty-three year old right hander Brad Bergesen will make his major league debut against the Chicago White Sox and everybody’s favorite homophobic, profanity spewing manager Ozzie Guillen.  Bergesen is an interesting prospect with excellent control of all four of his pitches which include a four seam fastball, a two seam fastball, a changeup, and a slider.  With a fastball that ranges in the low 90’s and top out at 93 Bergesen has been very good so far this season at Norfolk with a 1-1 record in 2 starts and an ERA of  2.45.  A fourth round pick of the Orioles in the 2003 MLB First Year Players Draft out of Foothill High School in Pleasanton California Bergesen will be the first of what may be a horde of young Orioles pitchers making debuts in the not so distant future.  I will be blogging live as Bergesen begin the rebuilding process of a disgraceful pitching staff in Baltimore.




Well surprise as Brad Bergesen looks to make his major league debut and I attempt to make my live bogging debut, Mother Nature has other ideas.  It is pouring down rain and the game is now officially in a rain delay. Looks like Oriole fans will have to be entertained by the sweet vocal styling of Buck Martinez as MASN attempts to fill airtime. Our alternate programming will be ESPNEWS where I can hear for the 63rd time if James Hasty thinks Mark Sanchez will be a star in the NFL.  Hopefully the Orioles can get on the field tonight; Bergesen must be going nuts in the clubhouse right now. Back if the rain stops.




Just watched some of the pre-game coverage of the Cavs-Pistons game two, I think the Cavs are going to roll over the Pistons.  This should be a fairly easy four game sweep for King James and the supporting cast.   I personally can not remember a season where two teams were so heavily favored to make it to the NBA Finals.  I don’t know why the Lakers and Cavaliers are playing any games in the Conference Playoffs; lets just start the finals now.  Charles Barkley’s is the most entertaining personality in all of sports, most nights his commentary is more entertaining then the games themselves. 


The rain just stopped lets get this Orioles game on the road!




The Cavs are up 20-14 with 1:17 left in the first quarter.   Joe Smith is starting for the Cavs tonight, I’m pretty sure he has been on every team in the NBA.  Sorry he has only been on nine different NBA teams.  I remember back in 1995 I thought Joe was going to be one of the best players in the history of the NBA; I wonder what happened to derail his career so drastically?


 Oriole players are in the dugout it looks like we are finally going to see Bergesen.  MASN just showed a cool shot of Patton, Tillman, Matusz, Hernandez, Bergesen, and Arrieta lined up together. 


 8: 58pm


Bergesen looks cool and calm in his #64 jersey; he really looks the part of a major league pitcher. I love seeing him go down the dugout and give all of his teammates a fist bump. 

 Bergesen’s first major league pitch is a ball high and outside at 8:41pm.  Just saw White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski who looks a lot like Rutger Hauer’s character in Blade Runner.  Good battle going with Carlos Quentin, Bergesen gets him to swing and miss on a 3-2 slider after 12 pitches.  1-2-3 inning; something we haven’t seen very much of in Birdland this season.  It is a true revelation to see a young Orioles pitcher actually pitch to contact rather than nibble the strikezone and walk hitters. 


 Huff strands Markakis at first after a soft single to left; we are scoreless after the first.




Bergesen is pitching at a blistering pace. Bergesen allows a four pitch walk to Jermaine Dye with one out but it doesn’t hurt us as he induces Paul Konerko to hit into an inning ending double play.  Two innings and four ground ball out; I like the cutoff this kids jig!


 Am I the only person who thinks of Jake Taylor from the movie Major League whenever they see Greg Zaun stroll up to the plate?


 Great play by Wigginton at third for the second out in the third inning.  Bergesen strikes out Centerfielder Brian Anderson looking to end the third inning his second 1-2-3 inning tonight.  Through three innings Bergesen looks great; he has yet to allow a hit or a ball to leave the infield.


 Aubrey Huff crushes a 2-0 cut fastball to Eutaw Street; the two run shot gives Bergesen a two run lead.  Now for Bergesen’s next test, holding onto a lead.



 A leadoff walk, an Orioles miscue in the field by Ty Wigginton, and two singles help the White Sox tie up the game at 2-2. Luckily Nick Markakis’ rocket arm bails the Orioles out again as he catches Jermaine Dye trying to get from first to third on a Paul Konerko RBI single to end the fourth.  That inning had all the signs of a huge inning for Chicago if it wasn’t for a boneheaded base running play by Dye.  Who tries to test Markakis’ arm in Right Field?


The White Sox take a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the fifth, Bergesen still looks solid but he may be beginning to run out of gas.  I will take this type of start from a 23 year old pitcher everyday over a washed up 33 year old journeyman getting hit all over the yard.  Bergesen has thrown 14 first pitch strikes to the 21 hitters he has faced so far tonight, a ratio that is pretty impressive in a pitchers major league debut.


 Nick Markakis is the hottest hitter in baseball right now; he ties the game by driving in Brian Roberts from second base with a double to right center.  Markakis is 3-3 tonight and just added an RBI to up his league leading total to 17. Nick is not only the best all-around player on the Orioles but is arguably the best right fielder in all of baseball.  Orioles get another run on a Luke Scott single to right and get the lead back for Bergesen.




Great debut by Brad Bergesen as Dave Trembley pulls him with two outs in the fifth and a 4-3 lead.  Bergesen pitched a quality 5 2/3 innings allowing just 1 earned run.  I must say his command was extremely impressive as Bergesen threw 16 first pitch strikes to the 23 hitters he faced and only allowed 2 walks.  I loved his pace as he didn’t procrastinate on the mound, Bergesen got the ball back from the catcher and was ready for throw his next pitch.  I think Bergesen is going to be a player whose development will be fun to watch and could be the beginning of a pitching staff that could actually compete in the AL East.  Lets hope the Orioles bullpen can hold this lead and get this kid his first major league victory.




Lou Montanez’ double in the sixth gave him both his first hit and RBI of the season.  Once Adam Jones comes back healthy Montanez should get an opportunity to be the everyday Left Fielder, all the guy does is hit at every level.  Nick Markakis drives in another run to give him two RBI’s for the night and adds another to his major league leading total of 18.  Nick’s 4-4 night takes his average over .380 for the season. The Orioles end the sixth inning with a three run league; I am praying we can hold this lead Bergesen deserves this win.


Jim Johnson is in one word nasty; he strikes out the side in the eighth.  George Sherrill should be moved to his natural position in the bullpen as a left handed specialist while Johnson should be the Orioles full time closer.



The Orioles close it out and get a 10-3 win to end a six game losing streak.  It’s great to see Bergesen get win in his debut.  He isn’t the eye popping talent that Jake Arrieta or Chris Tillman are, but I see a guy who could be a serviceable third starter or a dominating fourth or fifth guy in the rotation.  His fastball which hit 94 at one point has a ton of movement and changes speed very well.  It was so refreshing to see a young Oriole pitcher come up to the big leagues and not look overmatched by a solid lineup.  The rebuilding process of the Orioles starting rotation has begun and it looks like it is going to be a fun ride!