An 11-1 loss on Opening Day in front of the President was no one's idea - outside of a few thousand Phllies' fans in attendance - of a proper kickoff to the 2010 season.
But, it's only one game, and in the grand scheme of things, it counts the same as a 2-1 loss later in the season.
Today was also the first "Nats Talk Live" from the PNC Diamond Club after the game on the Nats Radio Network. I'm hosting the show this year, and it's been moved out of the booth upstairs to the concourse level downstairs. The new location should allow us to grab a few guests without them having to trek skyward, and will also allow club patrons to add some input to the proceedings.
One caller today questioned the club's attachment to reliever Jason Bergmann. Jason had the misfortune today to leave one over the plate to the first hitter he faced, Phils' 3B Placido Polanco, who hit it into the Philadelphia bullpen. Unfortunately, the bases were loaded at the time. He then retired the side.
In 56 appearances last year, Bergmann allowed just 7 home runs. In 41 of those appearances, he allowed no earned runs. He pitched as little as a third of an inning last year, and never more than two-and-a-third frames. His K-to-BB ratio last year was about 2-to-1, when you subtract the intentional passes.
The bottom line is, Jason Bergmann has demonstrated that he's a big league pitcher. It's as simple as that. Is he an all-star? Obviously not, at least not yet. He's had a career, though, and at 28, he's far from being finished. He's always been a stand-up guy after outings good and bad, and doesn't make excuses.
Bergmann's role is such that in order to make any kind of blanket judgment about him, you have to examine every outing, one-by-one. One terrible outing can jack up a reliever's ERA to the point he'll need five great ones to bring it back down.
Jason Bergmann allowing a home run to Placido Polanco wasn't the problem today; walks absolutely killed the Nats. Nine walks, along with 13 hits, is a lot of baserunners. On the plus side, Jesse English's big league debut was impressive: 4 up and 4 down. He's got a small window to make an impression before the next roster change when Livan Hernandez is activated.
Oh, and 22 years ago today I married Diane Gunther. My thanks to the Nationals for posting our anniversary on the scoreboard.