Four games back, desperately needing a win, and facing John Smoltz, one of the best pitchers in the game, who do the Nationals call on to pitch this pressure game? An All-Star? A proven winner? A gutsy veteran? No, the starter will be Jason Bergmann, a 23-year old up from AAA New Orleans who hasn't started a game since 2004 when he was in Class A Savannah.
So, which team do you think has the advantage in this must-win game for the Nats?
Boswell said it would be like this, but now that we're here it really stinks. The plan, apparently, is to pitch Bergmann for three innings (hopefully!) and then rely on the bullpen to hold down the fort. It's really the only thing the Nats can do at this point, but it would be nice to have a fourth starter during the stretch drive. Not only do we not have a good fourth starter, we don't have a fourth starter at all!!
You got to hand it to the kid, though, he's been good so far. He's absolutely lights out against right-handers: in their 20 at bats against him, righties have only a .200 BA, .174 OBP, .050, SLG, and .224 OPS. Those are awesome numbers; we especially love the .050 SLG. Unfortunately, Bergmann hasn't been as good against lefties. In 15 at bats, their stats against him are very good: .400 BA, .500 OBP, .467 SLG, .967 OPS. Ouch! Let's hope Bergmann sees a lot of right handers today!