Brad Bergesen had a rough outing in his first start back since being optioned to Triple-A Norfolk for the second time this season. When asked after the Orioles 6-5 win if Bergesen would get to make his next start interim manager Juan Samuel said, at this point, yes.
“He only gave us 4 innings,” Samuel said. “He needs to throw his bullpen. As it is now, yes, he is going to get his next start. You hope he can relax and give us some innings next time.”
After throwing 36 pitches through the first two frames, Bergesen tossed 29 in the third, allowing four runs and putting the Orioles in an early hole for the second time in less than 24 hours.
He issued a leadoff walk to No. 9 batter Ian Desmond, and plunked Cristian Guzman one out later. Ryan Zimmerman’s ball found a hole on the left side of the infield, with Cesar Izturis making a great back-handed stop but couldn’t throw to third in time. Izturis’ play was one of several just-misses for the Orioles, who weren’t charged with any errors but had several chances to get out of the inning.
Bergesen allowed another run in the fourth inning and hasn’t allowed less than four earned runs in a start since he held Kansas City to three runs over 6 2/3 on May 17.
“We still didn’t see a whole lot of sink, and we know he needs that,” Samuel said. “He needs to sink the ball. We saw some earlier in the game, but as the game went on his pitches started staying up. He needs to get his sinker back. That’s how he’s going to have success.”
Bergesen said he felt like he had a decent sinker for most of the game, but had a few mistakes that proved costly.
“I felt like I had all my pitches, I felt like my arm angle was good,” Bergesen said. “But really that leadoff walk in the third inning and then that pitch to Dunn were really my two big mistakes.”
“He didn’t have it all the time [on Saturday], but he showed signs of the old Bergy sinker,” catcher Matt Wieters said. “Especially when we’d go away from left-handers. We’ve got to get back to where we can throw it into right-handers as well. It will come.”
Bergesen is 3-4 with a 6.83 ERA in 13 games and has had two separate stints in Triple-A Norfolk to work on reestablishing his sinker. While Samuel said Bergesen is in line to make his next start, it’s something to keep an eye on. He is next scheduled to pitch against Boston at Fenway Park, and if he’s not right that could be an ugly game, damaging to the Orioles and to Bergesen’s confidence.