Bergesen takes positives from return
Righty tosses 1 1/3 innings in first game since July 30
BRADENTON, Fla. -- It won't go down as the most stirring of debuts, but Brad Bergesen is happy to have it under his belt nonetheless.
Facing hitters in a game situation for the first time since last July 30, the right-hander went an inning and a third on Wednesday night against the Pirates, and was charged with two runs on three hits. He was lifted from the game after allowing a one-out single to Steve Pearce to put runners at the corners because he had reached his 35-pitch limit for the evening.
"I'm disappointed," said Bergesen, who threw 17 strikes. "It's definitely positive getting out there and getting it going again, but you never like to go an inning and a third when you're supposed to go two innings and give up the three hits I gave up."
Two of them came in that second inning. In the first, Bergesen looked fairly sharp, getting three ground-ball outs with a two-out double off the bat of Garrett Jones the only blemish. In the second, he gave up a one-out walk, a double and a single before having to come out of the game.
"I'd like to have been a little better than that in the second inning," Bergesen said. "I worked behind too many guys. I guess in some ways that's expected at this point. Hopefully, I'll just get better and better each outing."
Bergesen had his season end last July after taking a line drive off his shin, finishing with a 3.43 ERA over 19 starts. Then he was delayed in making his Grapefruit League debut because of a strained right shoulder capsule suffered while filming a team commercial in December and was excited to finally get on the field.
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"I saw him when he got taken out of the game, he was running like he had just gotten a get out of jail free card," manager Dave Trembley said. "The guy was so excited today, it was unbelievable."
Because Bergesen fell behind in the counts, he wasn't able to mix in his pitches as much as he would've liked.
"The only slider I did throw was that one I hung [to Jones] that he hit for a double in the first inning," Bergesen said. "I threw about four changeups. Two of them were good, two of them were bad. That part I was happy with."
He was also pleased that his shoulder felt fine and didn't feel fatigued. After the delay in getting going this spring, Bergesen should be able to get back to a normal routine, back in the five-man rotation and throwing his usual between-start bullpens. And he knows what he wants to work on as the spring progresses.
"I felt I was rushing myself. I was getting a little too quick," said Bergesen, who's slated to be the Orioles' No. 3 starter in 2010. "I didn't slow it down, which is normally what I'm able to do when I feel myself getting that way. In that second inning, I felt myself getting quicker and quicker and quicker. That part, I need to work on."
Trembley was also happy with the outing and expects the hurler to be even better in his next start.
"He's fine. We'll get his pitches up next time," Trembley said. "Two days ago, he threw a BP session. He came back with two days' rest and pitched tonight, that's a real positive about it."
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.