Tuesday, May 22

Time Capsule: Dear Jason - Sorry!

(Editor's note: this is the final in a series of three articles I wrote last week and didn't post until now. I look forward to forgetting to update for a month.)

I was wrong. Totally, entirely, completely wrong.

After Jason Bergmann walked half the RFK concession staff in his first start of the season, I figured he was going to be embarrassing. Not just bad - completely inept. His next couple of starts weren't as jaw-droppingly bad - the control was better, and he was turning some of those walks into Ks.

His next few starts after those were better; however, I still had his first start seared into my brain and I chalked up this success to dumb luck - he's missing bats now, but that's just because everyone is willing to swing at the slop he's throwing. That won't last through the next game. Or the one after that. If not then, it'll be over next week. Meanwhile, we moved past the small sample size part of the season - he was still dealing.

By now, I had started to figure that he'd be okay in the middle of the rotation; the threat to blow up is there, but it's not as likely as I thought. (And really, who isn't a threat to blow up in the Nats' 2007 rotation?) And then .... Monday night. You've probably (edit: ...by now, definitely. From everyone else) read about it already - 7 innings of no-hit ball. I was already starting to believ, but now? He's the staff ace.

(edit: the following paragraph is hilarious in retrospective; Bergmann went on the DL on the 18th, retroactive to the 15th)

Of course, that's not entirely his doing; with both Hill and the Delicate Flower on the DL, he's as much the de facto ace as he is the de jure ace. Were they both healthy, he'd probably be the #2 guy behind Hill. I wouldn't complain if he was the ace, though.

Question for discussion: let's say both Patterson and Hill come back healthy and dealing. How do they get ordered in the rotation - and more importantly, does the Nats' staff start to sniff league average? My heart quickens at the prospect.


Postscript: of course, most of this is kind of irrelevant now, thanks to Bergmann's DL stint. Unfortunately, that also means the Nats' first three starters are on the DL, which: good times. Still, there's more here than I thought there was going to be at first. Right now? I'll take that.