Can a pitcher with a record of 4-11 and ERA of 6.33 get praise from his manager?
Jason Berken got it today from Dave Trembley, in large doses. Trembley talked at length about how Berken has persevered through tough times to emerge pitching well now for the O's.
On August 2nd, Berken was 1-9, 6.93 and seemingly on his way back to Triple-A.
Over his last five starts, he is 3-2, 4.94 and is 2-0, 3.37 over his past two starts. Last night, Berken gave up two runs over five innings to get the win vs. Cleveland.
Trembley praised Berken today, not for his ability to throw the hardball but for his ability to deal with hard times.
"He had a very difficult month of June and July and he got to August and he's 2 and 2 and he didn't snap, he has not cracked. Kranitz kept telling me to stick with him, because he pitches with his heart and he's not afraid.
"His stuff may be average, but he gets by because he doesn't give in. Last night when he came out in the fifth I thought his body language didn't look very good. I told him you have nothing to be embarrassed about. Walk off that mound each and every time with your head held high. Lesser guys would have cracked for what you've gone through.
"I'm glad he's 2-2 with a couple of wins this month. His record does not indicate how he's pitched. There are the intangibles you are looking for. He's not looking in the dugout for someone to take him out, he doesn't slack off on his work between starts.
"The only thing I don't like about him is he likes the Packers."