The Orioles’ rotation had allowed eight earned runs in 56 innings over the past eight games before tonight, which added up to a 1.29 ERA. Brad Bergesen surrendered five earned runs in the first inning and eight overall in 3 1/3 innings in a 13-2 loss to the Yankees.
Once again, any issues that Bergesen encounters on the mound can be traced to his fastball command, as manager Buck Showalter pointed out after the game.
“He was missing in the places he was trying to go with his fastball,” Showalter said. “Didn’t give himself a chance to have much to defend himself with. When you’re trying to go in, you miss away. When you try to go away, you miss in or middle of the plate.”
Bergesen tossed a four-hit shutout at Tropicana Field on Saturday, but he looked like a different pitcher tonight.
“You’d like to see him take his last outing and run with it. You expect and you’re hoping that’s the case,” Showalter said.
“I’ve seen him pitch some good games while I’ve been here for a short time and I’ve seen him really struggle. Most of them are the result of his command of his fastball. He wasn’t good enough. He knows that.”
CC Sabathia improved to 16-2 with a 2.74 ERA lifetime against the Orioles and 10-1 with a 2.73 ERA at Camden Yards. The Yankees staked him to a 5-0 lead in the first inning.
“That’s one of the benefits of having a guy like him and other people they have, that after a 15-inning game you just hand the ball off to him knowing you’re probably not going to have to use much of your bullpen,” Showalter said. “He’s tough enough, but when you give him that type of cushion and...you’ve got to really be disciplined to stay selective. It’s tough. He’s a complete pitcher. He’s not just fastball. If you go back and chart his pitches, you’re going to see a lot of changeups and breaking balls. He’s really turned into the full package. Really good athlete. Holds runners well, fields his position. He’s the total package.”
Showalter and president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail are meeting in the manager’s office to discuss potential roster moves after adding pitchers Chris Jakubauskas and Troy Patton today. Both pitchers were used tonight. Jakubauskas was charged with three runs and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings. Patton allowed two runs and two hits in 2 1/3 innings.
“I feel good about the moves we made before the game, especially with the weather and everything, start and stop,” Showalter said. “Chris and Troy, I’m glad we had them here available to do for us what they did tonight and try to keep our bullpen from being overtaxed. Andy and some of the guys are in the office now and we were talking about it a little bit before I came down here. We’ll see what type of adjustments we might make for tomorrow.”
MacPhail was satisfied with the way plate umpire Larry Vanover handled the hit-by-pitches, warning both benches but not ejecting anyone.
“I wish Larry had been the umpire last night, but I’m sure Dan (Bellino) will learn from being around a veteran crew about ways to handle certain things, and that’s part of it,” Showalter said. “Contrary to popular belief, every time a hitter gets hit by a pitch, it isn’t intentional. Not every time a Yankee player gets hit, it’s intentional. But I think we had hit unintentionally, (Josh) Rupe hit (Russell) Martin, and I’m sure they came into it a little disgruntled. I’m certainly not happy about it, but they do what they think is right and we’ll do what we think is right.”