The Orioles bullpen pitchers: Trying to stick together through tough times

Orioles relief pitcher Jason Berken said the pitchers in the Orioles’ bullpen remain confident they can do the job and he said they are a close-knit group and continue to support each other.

The ‘pen and some of its members are going through a rough time after the bullpen meltdown Monday in Boston and the struggles of Mike Gonzalez that continued last night against the Yankees.

Berken said the pysche of the bullpen is still strong.

“I think it’s good,” he said. “Everybody goes through stretches that are tough. You have to lean on each other and stay positive. I’ve been there. My rookie year were more downs than ups but you have to stay positive and be ready when you are called on. We’ll get through it and there will be good things to come.”

I asked Berken if the bullpen pitchers have talked about the struggles or whether they just know the support will be there when needed.

“We talk about it quite a bit,” he said. “This group we have now is pretty close. Having the luxury of having some older guys in the pen like Gonzo and Gregg, you can lean on those guys for support. Everyone has been through it, we are there to support each other. Whether it is watching video, or just talking about stuff. We all have confidence in each other.”

When Berken pitched in the game last night, it was the first time he had been on the mound in a week. After undergoing offseason rehab for a torn labrum, he can understand why reporters might wonder if there was any physical reason why he didn’t pitch for a while.

Berken said he is fine and that his shoulder feels great.

“If I had to guess I think it was just the game circumstance,” Berken said. “With me having the ability to go longer and our starters were going deep, sometimes, as a long guy, the less I pitch the better. Last night, it was good to get in there.

“I feel great, as good now as I have in a while. Last night, it was good to get in there. The last couple of times out I’ve been pretty good after a rough stretch earlier. But I worked through it.”

Berken is 0-2 on the year with an ERA of 5.06 over 14 games and 16 innings.

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