My off-day is over and it's back to work. The two entries I filed yesterday, plus calling into "The John Riggins Show" on MASN and Steve Melewski's show on 105.7 The Fan, seemed more like a mini-vacation compared to the spring training and opening day workloads.
I swung by Liberatore's to say hello to a few people and pick up cream of crab soup for my daughter - one of her favorites - and received a tab that included $2,700 for "lost revenue." That trip to Sarasota was more costly than I realized.
Melewski asked me on the air what I expected from Brad Bergesen tonight. Good question. Too bad I didn't have a good answer.
Bergesen wasn't particularly sharp in exhibition games, posting a 5.82 ERA in 17 innings. He was hit on the right forearm by Denard Span's line drive, which seems so long ago, and didn't expect to start before Sunday.
Jeremy Guthrie's bout with pneumonia brought another change to the rotation, so Bergesen gets the ball tonight.
Speaking of Guthrie, he tweeted the following last night: "Still in hospital 2nite. They have drawn tons of blood. I have high white blood cell count. Also confirmed-I do not have #Tigers Blood."
Update: Here's the latest tweet from Guthrie: "I woke up this morning feeling like P-Diddy, need another blood test and then hopefully I can hit the Charm City!"
Anyway, back to Bergesen ...
He's following four tough acts, jumping into a rotation that's allowed two runs and 12 hits in 26 innings.
As always, he'll have better results if his fastball has its sink. And unlike other pitchers with occasional tempo issues, Bergesen sometimes needs to slow himself down.
Bergesen is looking for the consistency that will keep him in the majors. Last year, he posted a 12.19 ERA and 1.16 WHIP while losing his first three starts. He went 3-0 with a 2.33 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in his first three starts after being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on May 1, then pitched to a 7.40 ERA in his next six outings (four starts), which led to another demotion.
Bergesen returned for good on June 26 and tossed the only two nine-inning complete games for the Orioles. (In fact, he's accounted for the last three nine-inning complete games, going back to June 14, 2009.)
He went 3-0 with a 2.73 ERA in five August starts and registered a 2.85 ERA in his final 12 games.
That's the Brad Bergesen I would like to see tonight.
My early nominee for best line of the season comes from a former Oriole. Here's the story:
Giants rookie Brandon Belt cried in manager Bruce Bochy's office after being told that he made the team, and he still had tears in his eyes when he met with reporters at his locker.
Belt suddenly heard a voice from across the room.
"Hey, Belt, you crying?"
It was Aubrey Huff.
Belt: "A little bit."
Huff: "Why are you crying? I'm the one who's gotta play right field every day."