After a tough outing
So what's up with Jason Bergmann? That's the real question that last night's game left behind. In matters like this, Randy St. Claire is often the man to go to -- pitching's equivalent of a Magliozzi brother from Car Talk. That said, the rest of this blog entry belongs to the Nats pitching coach.
Q: What are you seeing from Jason right now?
Well, he's making too many mistakes, falling behind hitters. Walking guys. Mechanically, his front side, he's flying open; his head is pulling out. He's on the side of his ball. He's losing a lot of balls that are flying off like this, running on him. He's trying to go in on a lefty, the ball runs over the plate on him. He's trying to go down and away from righties, the ball is shooting back over. He's just struggling with his command. He's not executing pitches when he's out there.
Q: I know in the past you've attributed that to the fact that he's trying to hard.
Yeah. He can't stop that inning from escalating, and he goes harder and harder and he wants to get better. And you can see it in his face out there: He's getting mad, you can see the frustration in his face. And that takes you out of your game. When you start getting mad, you want to go harder, you want to do better, you want to stop it right here. And it's got the totally opposite effect. This game, you go harder and harder, it's like a guy going up to the plate and swinging as hard as he can. His head flies open, he pulls off the ball: He swings and misses. And then when you throw a ball nice and easy, it just jumps right out of your hand. He's putting a lot of pressure on himself trying to do more than he's capable of. You know, you're only capable of doing so much.
Q: You think it's one of those cycles where the more bad starts he strings together, the more desperate he is to break out of it?
Well, yeah. Sometimes it is. But you know, this isn't his first time in the big leagues. He should be able to slow the game down and make that adjustment. He needs to. You have to be able to stop those innings from turning into seven runs. They're just hard to come back from. And I mean that: That's the biggest key, being able to stop it. Everybody is going to have a bad inning where you let up two, three runs. But all of a sudden they stop it and away they go and they end up going six innings, seven or eight innings, and they keep their team in the game and give us a chance to win.
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