The first red flag for me regarding Brad Bergesen didn't come after he got knocked out of a game early or failed to get the same sink on his ball. It happened when he suggested that his confidence might not be at the usual level.
What transpired tonight in Seattle won't have Bergesen puffing out his chest.
He allowed four earned runs - seven total - and six hits, with three walks, in only 2 2/3 innings. That's the earliest exit of his career, and it left quite a stain on tonight's game.
The Orioles trail, 7-0, in the bottom of the sixth and are still searching for their first hit off the immortal Doug Fister. And Bergesen is still searching for the form that made him one of the game's real impact rookies last season.
Is it the line drive off his shin that's causing him problems? The shoulder injury from that commercial shoot in December? None of the above?
I can't imagine manager Dave Trembley yanking Bergesen from the rotation a few weeks into the season, but the leash won't be too long. It's not like he's an established starter who's earned the benefit of the doubt. It was a nice rookie season, but he still came into 2010 with something to prove.
Bergesen raised more questions than he answered. He might have been saved if Ty Wigginton fielded that ball cleanly and started the double play, but what happened to damage control? Brian Matusz could have taught a class at the local community college after yesterday's game.
I want to go to bed, with my BlackBerry alarm set for 6:30 a.m., but Fister won't let me. I have to stay up until the Orioles get their first hit.
You're not supposed to mention a no-hitter or you'll jinx the pitcher.
Fister has a no-hitter going and I want to go to bed.
Still waiting for that first hit. And for Bergesen, with his 12.19 ERA, to get his act together.
Instant update: It worked. Nick Markakis led off the seventh with a single - and was wiped out on a double play.