The fans are filing into Prince Georges Stadium for the opener of the Eastern League Southern Division playoff series between the Bowie Baysox and the Akron Aeros. Playoff baseball just a half-hour down Highway 3/301. Not a giant crowd, but it's a nice night for a ballgame.
Right-hander Jason Berken (12-4, 3.58) takes the mound tonight for the Baysox. Brad Bergesen (15-6, 3.22) will pitch tomorrow night. It's the first playoff appearance for the Baysox since 1997...and why does that year sound so familiar?
Caught up with Bergesen (right) before the game and asked how a month of call-up speculation had affected him. The Orioles seemed to be bringing up a pitcher up every day throughout the month of August, and Bergesen's name was always somewhere in the conversation.
"The last thing I wanted to do was get caught up in all the rumors,'' he said. "That stuff will just mess with your mind. You really have to concentrate on what's at hand."
He seems like a pretty mature kid for 22 and he probably deserves the chance make a start for the Orioles in September, but it remains to be seen if he gets a chance. The club may not want to extend him after all the innings he has already pitched.
"They could be thinking that,'' Bergesen said. "I'm still a young guy and this is the most innings I've ever thrown...(but) as far as the fatigue factor, it's not a problem for me."
So, what does he think is going to happen?
"I don't have a clue,'' he said. "My main focus is what's at hand -- the playoffs right now."