We said yesterday that we would learn a lot about Jason Bergmann in games like last night's game against the Braves. Bergmann has pitched well this season, but he needs to be consistently good against good teams before he can assume the mantle of a #4 or #3 starter.
Well, we learned a lot about Bergmann after last night's stellar performance. Bergmann was flawless for seven innings, taking a no-hitter into the eighth. Brian McCann had the temerity to break up the no-hitter with a solo homerun, but Bergmann finished the eighth with the Nats up 2-1. Amazingly, this was Bergmann's first win despite the fact that he has been the Nationals' best pitcher.
We realize that being "the Nationals' best pitcher" isn't exactly a crowning achievement, but for a guy who in spring training was a baseball unknown to anyone outside his immediate family, that's quite a success story.
Bergmann's stats are lights out. His ERA is 2.76, he's allowing only one base runner per inning, and hitters are whiffing against him (.162/.253/.306). If anything, Bergmann has been too good, meaning that he can't continue at this pace indefinitely. His BABIP (batting average on balls in play) is .183, which is shockingly low and unsustainable. Still, we're not talking about someone whose performance suggests his ERA will balloon to 5. Bergmann has pitched well enough to be considered a real prospect for a rotation spot well into the future of this team. Let's hope he keeps it up.
Speaking of another success story, Cristian Guzman was 2-4 with another triple. He now has two triples in two games, which is one-third the total he had in all of 2005. Shockingly, Guzman's line is pretty good: .323/.364/.452. Don't get used to this, though, because Guzman has had only 31 at bats. We're confident we'll soon see the Cristian we all know and loathe.
Jesus Colome got the save in place of Chad Cordero. [Full disclosure--I just picked up Colome in my fantasy league and now want him to get gobs of saves.] Colome has pitched well this season, but he's got a long way to go before we can say he's a good pitcher. His walks per nine innings are way too high, and he walks as many batters as he strikes out per nine innings (5.47). That's not a recipe for long-term success.