Looking back at the Orioles' first half of the season, you have to put the emergence of Brad Bergesen as one of the most significant events of the year.
Bergesen has been the Orioles only consistent starter since his arrival in the big leagues April 21st. With the starting rotation struggling the way it has recently, it's hard to imagine how bad the situation would be if Bergesen wasn't out there every fifth day.
In fifteen starts Bergesen has gone 5-3 with a 3.59 ERA. What's been impressive is his 97.2 innings pitched--everytime the young righty is on the mound, he goes deep into the game.
Now if the O's could just find four more starters like him, they'd be good to go.
It's no secret the O's bullpen has pitched more innings than any other bullpen in the American League. If the starters don't start going deeper into games, the bullpen is going to suffer in the second half.
I was chatting with pitching coach Rick Kranitz about Bergesen, and he told me he's been impressed with the way Bergesen has pitched to lefties. Southpaws are hiting just .236 against him.
Krantiz also likes the way Bergesen attacks hitters. He said you don't see a lot of pitchers come up from the minor leagues and do that.
Bergesen's bread and butter is his "super sinker" as Kranitz put it. It's a ground ball inducing pitch that has proven extremely succesful for Bergesen.
You have to love his story. He's an Orioles fourth round draft pick in 2004, and is now arguably the Orioles ace. Bergesen really has been a spark in this year's O's season and the best part is; he's only twenty three years old. It's intriguing to think how good of a career might have here in Baltimore.