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BERGMAN FINALLY BEING NOTICED

[May 15th] -- So, all of a sudden, Jason Bergman is a hero?

Listening to all of the highlight shows last night, I was stunned at how Bergman's near no-no was spun. Here was this guy, who had never shown any real talent during his time in the major leagues, who out of the blue spun a gem against the Atlanta Braves.

I don't buy it.

Bergman had a very solid minor league career, fashioning a 32-30, 3.42 ERA in 415 innings. He allowed only 7.75 hits per 9 innings, a very low number. Hitters have always had difficulty catching up to his stuff. His problem has been location; he allowed more than 4 walks per 9 innings while in the minors.

Granted, he had a lousy 2006 season (0-2, 6.68 in 64 innings), but his 2005 was very impressive. He went 2-0, 2.75 in 19 innings, including one outstanding start late in the year. I wrote several articles that winter singing the virtues of Bergman and anointing him as Esteban Loiaza's replacement in the starting rotation.

Okay, 2006 didn't exactly go as planned.

But 2007, well, 2007 is going just as I had imagined 2006 would look. After doing his part to make that opening series against the Diamondbacks look miserable, he's easily been the team's best pitchers, with apologies to Shawn Hill. His shortest outing has been six innings. Other than the Cubs game (he gave up 8 hits), he hasn't allowed more than 5 hits in any start. In his last 37 innings, he's struck out 42 while walking only 14.

But really, 2006 wasn't as bad as it seemed. In two games, he gave up 13 hits and 8 walks in 9.2 innings and had a pretty lousy 8.80 ERA. In the other 5 games he pitched, however, he gave up just 13 hits and 12 walks in 31 innings while striking out 27. His ERA for those games was a very acceptable 3.77.

2005 was a solid year for Jason Bergman. 2006 (save two outings), was a solid year for Jason Bergman. And 2007 - if he can keep it up - will be a superb year for Jason Bergman.

Perhaps he's been a stud all along and we just never noticed.


Comments:
This is probably a fool's errand, but I saw a website...
www.thiscouldbetheyear.net
... mentioned at a few other Nats blogs. I read it, and it seems like a proposal that's worth supporting.

And in case you're wondering: No, this isn't guerrila marketing by the Nats or anyone else who could make a buck off this. I'm just a fan who stumbled on what looks like a good idea.

Thanks for whatever you can do to talk this up!
 
Miss your posts, Farid. Hope your health hasn't taken a bad turn. I look forward to seeing you online again.
 
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