2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Rockies: Nice work, Christian Bergman

Published: June 10, 2014, 9:20 am, by Paul Klee

Bright spots for the Rockies?

What bright spots?

OK, here’s one: Christian Bergman. His MLB debut Monday showed promise. So did his slider, which seemed to have the Braves on their heels. He tossed 89 pitches over six innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits. He struck out four and walked too. He wasn’t scared.

“The only thing that would have made it better is if we came out with a win,” Bergman said in the clubhouse after a 3-1 loss to the Braves.

Bergman entered Coors Field with long, flowing locks and confidence for days. He said he’s been overlooked in the Rockies’ farm system, and that type of self-confidence is important when you’re dealing with Coors Field.

Then he went right at hitters. In the first, he had Justin Upton playing a guessing game and struck out the Braves left fielder with a nasty slider that caught Upton looking. Bergman also accomplished this unusual feat: with a bouncing single up the middle in the third, he got his first major-league hit before he gave up his first major-league hit

The only times Bergman got in trouble was when he pitched high in the zone in the fourth. Still, he made sure to let everyone know he was OK then, too, and I like that about him.

“I think there was one ball hit hard (by the Braves in the fourth),” he said. “It’s hard to find any fault in that.”

Bergman clearly wasn’t intimidated by Coors Field, which shouldn’t come as a surprise, since he built a 2.04 ERA in the Springs. The baseball shuttle service from Colorado Springs to Denver will continue Wednesday when Tyler Matzek returns to the Rockies rotation. He’ll take the spot once reserved for Eddie Butler — another one of the 11 call-ups this season — who was placed on the 15-day DL on Monday.

Bright spots?

The Rockies are going to find out — sooner, rather than later — if these lauded young arms are what they think they are. For one night, at least, Bergman showed he’s got the right stuff, the best of which is self-confidence.

Twitter: @Klee_Gazette