Rockies 4 ...
M's enjoying the patronage of their 'customers'


It is a bittersweet fact of Life, Love and Hope that --- > you don't always get what you deserve.  Sometimes you train perfectly all your life to go into outer space and then somebody forgets to check the O-ring on your space shuttle.  Other times you're a big-mouthed blogger with nothing much to say who winds up on the letterhead of the best sports site in the Northwest.  The race isn't always to the swift, although that's the way to bet.

Christian Bergman pitched kinda bad yesterday, the first three innings, and got a shutout for it.  He perked up and threw kinda good the next three innings, and gave up some runs.  Overall did he move the needle on his MLB career?  No.  ... the SSI mainframe gives this one a mulligan.



The first three innings, Bergman aimed carefully at Zunino's mitt and --- > missed badly over the plate, time after time.  Here is a relatively good sequence for him, the first one of the game:



  • Pitch 1 - Zunino sets his mitt with an angry little shake, low-away.  Bergman slits the heart of the plate.  Hitter ignores an 88 center cut pitch.  Ump botches the call.  A college-ball NCAA start to the ballgame.
  • Pitch 2 - Mitt inside, pitch misses outside but in the zone (most of Bergman's misses are always inside the zone).
  • Pitch 3 - Another "angry" low-away pocket set.  Bergman throws a Gallardo-quality 87 MPH tee ball pitch. ... Dickerson takes?!
  • Pitch 4 - wild miss serves no purpose, 2-2 count
  • Pitch 5 - First quality pitch, a "pitch to contact" changeup that gets lots of the zone.  Dickerson leisurely swats it up the middle for a single.

Not trying to bust Christian Bergman's chops.  Just trying to describe the first 3 innings accurately.  The above is what Dr. D saw, iterated in a loop.  For some mysterious reason the Rays kept popping the ball up and fouling it back.  See the paragraph that opened the article.


Now, beginning around the 4th inning, Bergman started changing speeds with conviction.  He got them in between, as individual hitters and as a dugout.  (Yet he gave up a couple of bombs during this timeframe.)  Here is a representative AB to Logan Morrison, who has 15 homers already this year:



Pitch 1 - Out-and-over 88 MPH fastball.  Yer blinkin' lucky he didn't swing (or your pitchability is first-rate and you fooled him)

Pitch 2 - NICE NICE NICE arm action on a changeup that rolled off the table to the shins.  Fouled off, 1-1

Pitch 3 - Slider misses, but good randomness in this presentation at the moment

Pitch 4 - Jam pitch misses a bit, LoMo with a good take, 2-2 count

Pitch 5 - Vicious changeup, really vicious, gets a garbage swing for a K (sets up three innings' worth of tentative swings by Rays)



Bergman's fate has relied on his being "hot" -- in other words, executing 80% of pitches rather than 60%.  He did not do that Friday.  So ... :: shrug ::

But the good news is, this is a couple-three games now where Bergman's [Yakker] and/or [Straight Change] have been swing-and-miss.  At times.  Scouts would say he has "flashed a plus curve and at times flashed a plus change."  So here's a kid with short stuff but excellent makeup, and I guess you'd say he is trying to stockpile weapons:

1.  The Fister command of three separate fastballs

2.  The deuce, when it's biting the knees

3.  The cambio, when he's selling it

It's kind of like a 1966 Chrysler motor on a Christmas morning, rrrr -rrrr --rrrrr trying to turn over.  That's more than we thought we'd be seeing right now.  Certainly it warrants more chances in SSI's virtual world.



Manfully gave us a "For The Record" that -- as it turns out -- it looks like James Paxton was never a head case.  Very cool of Daddy-O but probably a disproportionate "retraction."  Like every other SSI detractor of James Paxton, Daddy-O always knew that Paxton had it in him to be a star.  The "detractors" were just sort of wan, as to whether things would ever fall into place.  Can't blame them at all.  It was a reasonable take on the situation.

Dr. D always has to swing after the bell has long been rung :- ) and my cheap shot here is simply that we can all nod in agreement together.  Many times when a pro athlete looks snakebit, it really is just circumstances.  One of those things.  But then again that's why pro teams stick with super-talented resources so long.

Nate Karns by the way is 2-2, 4.15 or something with a 10+ K rate, 2+ BB rate, is on the DL, and having trouble getting it all to click.  ... maybe KKKarns will wind up in Dr. D's archive of embarrassing missed calls or maybe one year pretty soon Karns will go 18-6.  We'll see.






Bergman is a 225 slant six. Plain Jane base model Plymouth Valiant with a slush box for a transmission.

Paxton is a 426 Hemi 4-speed Dodge Charger. THE baddest dude on the block.


And I didn't even notice at first...

On Paxton, I showed much more negativity about Valencia and confusion about Gamel than I ever read here about Paxton.  Mine was just a couple months ago.  There's others of course.

Bergman had me watching to see what it is that's working.  You pretty well covered what I saw and then some.  I'm left wondering if there's something we just don't see.  Looking at his release points, he may excel at fooling hitters partially because there's no real separation there.  I'm going to look closer at how he sells different pitches next time out.  Also, is he that rare guy that can execute 80%+ much more often than not?  I'm not convinced yet either way but I'd like to believe he is. 

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