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About the decision

Manny Acta had said he wanted to sleep on the decision, and so today, one reporter started the obvious question by saying, "Manny, I'm assuming you had a good night's sleep."

He did.

And he decided.

"We're going to put Bergie in the pen," Acta said, "and allow Martis to start a few games for us."

Martis, of course, had started Thursday night's game. Bergmann went last night. Their starts, back-to-back, sealed the deal. Martis looked good, or at least good enough, surviving five innings and giving up two runs. Bergmann went just 2-1/3, and was charged with seven runs.

So, the switch.

Here's some reaction, first from Acta.

Q: What do you make of Bergmann right now?

Well, his problem has been that when he's having his lows, he hasn't been able to make the adjustment quick enough to snap out of it in the middle of the game, and that has been his problem. We could tell -- when he's good, he just cruises through it. When he's going to struggle, you can see it early, and he has a tough time snapping out of it and stopping the bleeding and having just a decent start instead of having a poor one.

Q: Going forward, will he have another chance to be a starter?

Well it all depends on the development of our kids and also what the market brings for us. Because, as you guys mentioned, he's had some real good outings. He shows you flashes that he can do it, and then he goes into periods... we just want to see more consistency out of him.

Q: Did you get the feeling from his emotion last night that, emotionally, he's just spent?

Well, he tries too hard when he gets to it. The last couple of starts he's really been over-thinking, and when he was going good he was just working fast, grabbing the ball and not analyzing every pitch. And at times that's what gets him in trouble.


Q: What does this opportunity mean for Martis?

Well, it's a good one, because this guy was just pitching in Class AA baseball when this season started, and now he's going to be able to audition for us. And going into spring training, we'll have a clearer picture of whether this guy really fits into our plan as a starter or the pen or if he's ready to compete in spring training for a spot or if he's going to have to go back to Class AAA. But we are going to give him a shot.

---

Now, from Bergmann

Q: What did you think when you heard this news, and how do you go forward from here?

Well, you just move forward. It's the end of the year. Like I said last year, I'm really upset that a few outings toward the end here ruined the year that I had, because up until that point I felt like I was throwing the ball pretty well fairly consistently, and I don't know what's going on. I think I'm just trying way too hard, and instead of trusting everything I'm trying to make things happen, and it's gotten me in trouble.

Q: What do you mean by 'trying too hard'?

As a person, independent of team record, I go out there every day striving to do my best. I work hard, so that when I go out there I'm prepared to do well. I felt pretty good, but we're sitting in last place, and I'm still trying to go out there and do something good, not just for myself but for the team. I think when I go out there and have a rough outing, my effort for the next couple days is to go out there and do a better job. Maybe I just put too much emphasis on doing better.

Q: Can as switch to the bullpen help?

It's possible. I don't know. I've been a reliever before, I've been a starter. I like starting a little bit more. It's a situation where they also want to see Shairon and I understand. Last couple weeks here, I just want to finish good.

---

Now, from Jim Bowden

Q: Explain the decision.

Obviously Shairon Martis did very well in his first start, and Bergie has been struggling. And when a pitcher struggles like he has and can't have the consistency, you have to make adjustments. So you go the bullpen and see if he can get himself out of it.

Q: What do you think is wrong with Bergmann?

I think sometimes he has that one bad inning and can't get himself out of it. He can't make adjustments; he tries to do too much, doesn't concentrate. And the other part of it is mechanics. There are times from the stretch where all of a sudden the shoulder comes out and all of a sudden the hitter sees the fastball earlier. It gets crushed. So it's a combination of mental and physical. We know the stuff is there, but there's more too it than stuff at this level.

By Chico Harlan  |  September 6, 2008; 7:09 PM ET
 
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Comments

Chico why would your friend Eli Saslow let his new wife write about their love life in the Sunday magazine? Good grief.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

New posted (grumble grumble.)

Same old Carpy. Way to call the play and almost look like an idiot. Again.
Jesus, man. You're on TV. Call what you SEE, not what you think you're gonna see.

(Re: Dukes' homerun that cleared the wall by two feet after a Carpy scream fest. "THERE IT GOES!")

Posted by: Section 138 | September 6, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

newposted....


Charlie did a read that Bergmann is scheduled to appear at the ESPN Zone downtown at noon on Sept. 17. He's a stand-up guy, hope he comes.

Posted by: leetee1955 | September 6, 2008 7:52 PM

Posted by: leetee1955 | September 6, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

serves saslow right after the way he murdered the coverage of that phillies-nats game last september. some of us have long memories.

Posted by: natsscribe | September 6, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

A small thing....if Gifford's Ice Cream is going to be a sponsor of Nats' radiocasts next year and plan to sell ice cream at the stadium, FOR GOD'S SAKE GET THE NAME OF THE PLACE RIGHT IN COMMERCIALS. It's Nationals Park, not Nationals Ballpark! And get rid of all of the radio "On thee Run" spots, especiailly the one with the guy who apparently lives in his parents' basement who goes "Who's the man? Who's the man?"

Posted by: leetee1955 | September 6, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Wow...four solo homers, two by Dukes!

Posted by: BSG | September 6, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Shoot me, shoot me, NOW! OTR spot just ran.

Posted by: leetee1955 | September 6, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I get that we're close and late. But Redding only pitched for 79 pitches and seems to be doing well, isn't a squeeze bunt here just as well as a single that Hernandez hit?

Posted by: SF Fan | September 6, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Section 138, fully agreed.
I was switching back to the game, just in time to hear Carpy detail how Dukes (something along the lines of) "flat-out crushed" the ball, as I watched the ball just get over the fence... So of course I did the "what am I thinking?" moment and switched over to Charlie and Dave. Oh the joy, with them calling a great game, mixed in with superhero bits mixed in, and massive amounts of chuckling, both from them as well as me. TV's on mute from here on out! Especially loved C & D's reaction when the "Stinger" accidentally started up the commercial after the 2nd out. They are the best in the business!
5-3 now, whoo-hoo!

Cheers, and happy baseball

Posted by: nats del negro | September 6, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

In alumni news, Soriano has just hit 3 HRs in 6 innings...

Posted by: Holy Crap! | September 6, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

And leetee, they must reeeeeally love that commercial (just played again!)...of course, I guess they need every sponsor they can get.

Posted by: nats del negro | September 6, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

hanrahan....cordero with a fastball. yeesh1

Posted by: natsscribe | September 6, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

can y'all hold a THREE-RUN LEAD?

Posted by: natsscribe | September 6, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

hanrahan....cordero with a fastball. yeesh1

Posted by: natsscribe


Put him in the'pen... Oh, right...

Posted by: cat daddy | September 6, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

MASN just showed a graphic about Dukes' 4-5 night and it said that this was his first career multi-HR game. Correct me if I'm wroing, but didn't he have one in the recent Dodgers series? I'm pretty sure he did, because I was there...

Posted by: BSG | September 6, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

BSG - yes, the same day as Guz's cycle.

Posted by: SF Fan | September 6, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

can y'all hold a THREE-RUN LEAD?

Posted by: natsscribe

We should have traded Hanrahan when he had some value.

I'll stop now, but you gotta think Bergmann's wondering where were these guys when he was pitching. One matchup change and his career might not be in the tank.

Posted by: cat daddy | September 6, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if Gabe Oppenheim will be at ESPN Zone to write up Bergy's appearance?

Tell him I'll be the middle-aged fanboy decked out in red. Can't miss me.

Posted by: Hendo | September 6, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Elijah Dukes = GOD

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | September 6, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

I would have never thought that Zimmerman would be batting .287 now, especially after his absolutely horrendous first half of the year. Zimmerman is shining but his light is not as bright as Duke's was tonight. Oh how I love to watch him hit.

Hanrahan can't get into this rut of allowing two runs in the ninth inning.

Posted by: Dale | September 6, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

whew...lucky that was a gr double, otherwise, game over and the braveless would have won. About time a break went the Nats way, don't ya think.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | September 6, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Kasten was right, we are going to be calling them cheap b*st*rds.


*****************
http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/ticketing/sth_picnic.jsp

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2008 6:59 PM

Posted by: CE | September 7, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Remember, people: There's no DL for announcers.

******************
Re: Dukes' homerun that cleared the wall by two feet after a Carpy scream fest. "THERE IT GOES!"
Posted by: Section 138 | September 6, 2008 7:48 PM

Posted by: NR BC | September 7, 2008 12:39 AM | Report abuse

wow, can you be more over-the-line, in-the-tank for bergmann, cat daddy?

look, the guy pitched his way out of the rotation. it wasn't the matchups, it was his inability to maintain his composure when things go badly.

i like the guy, and i want him to get it together. both because he's a genuinely nice guy and because he has the 'stuff' to succeed. but let's not make weak excuses for him. the mistakes he made were his own.

Posted by: 231 | September 7, 2008 1:05 AM | Report abuse

One matchup change and his career might not be in the tank.

Posted by: cat daddy | September 6, 2008 10:28 PM

The 7 plus ERA since the All Star break has everything to do with it. The bullpen assignment may mean that he will get back to throwing quality strikes that don't sit there fat and heavy over the middle of the plate. We all want to see the "good Bergmann" again.

Posted by: Dale | September 7, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Absolutely trenchant commentary by Svrluga on the Redskins in the Sunday paper today. His writing on the Nationals beat was nothing short of brilliant, but who knew he had this quality of work within himself? Bravo, Barry.

Posted by: did you see it? | September 7, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

OK, I'll start out with the premise that, basically, I don't trust pitchers. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, my nom de Nats says it all. I think that Bergmann's problem is completely between his ears. He certainly has good enough stuff to succeed, on a consistent basis, as a starter. The problem, as I see it, is that he has problems doing a "re-boot" once he runs into a bump. As a starter, this is a prime requirement.

BTW, I may be mistaken but I heard that, with Zim, Milledge, and Dukes in the lineup, the Nats are 18 / 12. If that is true, the addition of a first base bat will make this a serious lineup.

Posted by: Catcher50 | September 7, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

i'm comfortable with zim, dukes, milledge, flores. that's about half the every day guys. guz is respectable offensively, if nothing special, for now. we need a consistent 1B (both hitting and health) and another corner OF. the more i think about it, the more i like the idea of casey blake for a couple of years.

Posted by: 231 | September 7, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I was just looking at the Nats' batting statistics, and with a little bit of luck, we could end up with four or five starters (with 150 or more ABs) over .300. (Guzman, Zimmerman, Dukes, Belliard, and Da Meat Hook) Of course, this means either getting or staying healthy, whichis asking a lot for this season.

Posted by: 419E | September 7, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm just going to post this about another veteran pitcher who will be available. I don't like depending on a guy with an injury history, so I do prefer Lowe (after CC & Sheetsu), but, from the writings of Nick Cafardo at Boston.com:

"Mike Hampton, who turns 36 Tuesday, will likely pitch himself into a new contract - believe it or not - after his eight-year, $121 million deal ends this year. While it was one of the greatest bust deals ever, Hampton has gone 1-1 with a 3.81 ERA in his last four outings, all quality starts. He is resigned to the fact that he won't be back in Atlanta. But a lefty is a lefty, right? 'It'll be a one-year deal somewhere,' said a National League GM, 'but given the way he's throwing, I'll bet you there'll be a few teams - especially in the National League - who will be after him.'"

I'm also guessing that one of CC, Sheets, and Lowe go to the Tigers.

Posted by: PTBNL | September 7, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

from what i've heard, the tigers are supposed to *cut* payroll this offseason, not add.

Posted by: 231 | September 7, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

A caution against Creeping Rotisserie-ism, here: as C50 implies, in here we may go by stats and numbers, but in the field the coaches rely more on what they see. One matchup change wouldn't have fixed this, and a lower ERA would only mean Manny had been pulling him out sooner. He still gets flustered and off his game when he doesn't get his way. (Yes, it does take one to know one, thankyouverymuch.) Cf., Jimmy Rollins and "When It Clicked" in the Sunday MLB page.

******************
One matchup change and his career might not be in the tank.
Posted by: cat daddy | September 6, 2008 10:28 PM
_______
The 7 plus ERA since the All Star break has everything to do with it. The bullpen assignment may mean that he will get back to throwing quality strikes that don't sit there fat and heavy over the middle of the plate. We all want to see the "good Bergmann" again.
Posted by: Dale | September 7, 2008 8:37 AM
----------------

OK, I'll start out with the premise that, ************
Yeah, Yeah, my nom de Nats says it all. I think that Bergmann's problem is completely between his ears. He certainly has good enough stuff to succeed, on a consistent basis, as a starter. The problem, as I see it, is that he has problems doing a "re-boot" once he runs into a bump. As a starter, this is a prime requirement.
....
Posted by: Catcher50 | September 7, 2008 11:48 AM

Posted by: CE | September 7, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

and delete that orphaned phrase that shouldn't have been at the top of C50's.

Posted by: Ooops | September 7, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Yo!

Posted by: New Post | September 7, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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