ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Manager Buck Showalter addressed a few topics in his postgame session with the media, but Brad Bergesen was the focal point.
“He keeps battling through it and he doesn’t wallow around in self-pity, and that’s a big thing of mine,” Showalter said. “Nobody really cares. We do, but the opposition doesn’t. He pitched pretty well the last time against Tampa, too. I thought he and Jake (Fox) had a real good tempo going. And he had command of his fastball. Something I talked to him about after his last outing. I guarantee that chart will look a lot different than the last one.”
Best game Showalter has seen him pitch?
“He pitched some good games while I was here last year toward the end and I watched some tape before I came here of ‘09 and he had some really good starts. But considering the circumstances and a team on top of their game like Tampa is, a lot of things pointed to it being a challenge today. And it was really impressive,” Showalter said.
Showalter didn’t get the sense that Bergesen felt like he was pitching with his back against the wall.
“Unless they’re just kind of whistling in the graveyard, I don’t see our young guys that way,” Showalter said. “They’re getting opportunities and they know we like them and it’s about accountability and production. We’re not running a tryout camp and they know there’s got to be some return for the confidence you show in them. But I haven’t seen that in Brad.”
It was good to see Bergesen, Fox and Mark Reynolds make contributions after struggling for most of the season.
“They’re capable of it,” Showalter said. “That’s why they’re big leaguers and that’s why we took them. And it was nice to see them get a return for a lot of the work they do behind the scenes.”