Bergesen continues second-half turnaround

Bergesen continues second-half turnaround

BOSTON -- To say Orioles starter Brad Bergesen has had a tough sophomore campaign would be putting it mildly.

The 24-year-old Bergesen, who saw a stellar rookie campaign cut short last July when he was struck by a line drive, suffered a strained right shoulder capsule this offseason, and he pitched to a 12.19 ERA in his first three starts of the year. Twice, the right-hander was the odd man out and got sent to Triple-A Norfolk to regain his confidence and his trademark sinker. He was also temporarily placed in the Orioles' bullpen.

But as of late, Bergesen has thrived, pitching to a 1.69 ERA in his past four outings, and staying true to what manager Buck Showalter refers to as his track record.

"It's been quite a haul for him," Showalter said of Bergesen, who has allowed three earned runs or fewer in nine of his past 10 starts, including Tuesday's one-run, six-inning outing.

"I guess you couldn't dream that he would have gotten his ERA below 5.00 at some point this year. I looked out at the board [Tuesday night], [and] I told [pitching coach Rick Kranitz], 'That's pretty cool.'"

It's a testament to Bergesen's total turnaround given that his ERA was still at 6.63 entering August and has fallen nearly two runs (4.90) since. This Bergesen is markedly different from the tape Showalter saw earlier in the year, but the Orioles' skipper said he isn't shocked given Bergesen's past success.

"Guys don't fall from that track record too often," Showalter said. "I think when you get [rid of] some of the anxiety and apprehension, [you] get to be a little more trustworthy of what you are trying to do. You have already failed, at some point you've got to go, 'That didn't work, so what the heck, I'm going to let it fly and see where it takes me.' And I think he's in that mode now."