Skip to content

Bernadina steps up his game

Mar 26, 2012, 11:00 PM EDT

Associated Press photo
Roger Bernadina watches his fifth-inning homer clear the fence.

VIERA, Fla. — At various points over the last four seasons, Roger Bernadina has displayed a natural ability and athleticism that gives the Nationals reason to believe he can be a significant producer at the big-league level.

Bernadina, though, has never been able to sustain that level of play for any length of time, forever teasing the Nationals with his skills, but only in spurts.

The 27-year-old outfielder has been at it again the last couple of days. He's homered in back-to-back games and gone a combined 5-for-6 with six RBI and a walk.

One reason for Bernadina's recent surge in power: He's worked with hitting coach Rick Eckstein on staying "inside" the ball and not flyingRead more ยป

  1. Anonymous - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    Just out of curiosity: Why are your and Adam Kilgore of the WaPo's posts always nearly identical in content and timing? Is it just what's available in spring or do you collaborate on content, or what's the deal? It'd be nice to have a bit more variety!!

  2. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    I'm in the tank for the Shark. Always have been. Guy has more raw talent and speed than anyone on our roster.

  3. MicheleS - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    So watching Nats classic on MASN.. It's Nats vs Phillies, another Mr Walkoff moment, but that's not what I am watching.. Werth (in a Phillies uni) is playing Center field. Who knew!Oh and Anon 7:16.. They are beat writers, this is what Happens every day, day in and day out. Columnists give you the variety. However I do recommend following the beat writers on Twitter. Their true personalities comes out then.

  4. The Dude Abides - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    To all anonymous posters like the one above. Just go stuff it.Ask an intelligent question or provide an intelligent baseball observation. You've got basically 4 news outlets covering the same thing. If 2 of them happen to catch a player being candid at the same time ….. wallahhh! you get the same story. If Amanda was present you'd get 3.Most anonymous posters have no clue.

  5. Steady Eddie - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    Anon @ 7:16:And a pony.Hey, this is a free blog — if you're bored, go somewhere else.

  6. Gonat - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    So long as you don't bat the Shark in leadoff, his offensive stats are serviceable.

  7. Anonymous - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    Hey Dudeee! You must be so impressed with your BRILLIANCE. (I'm not.) So, I recommend you stop "patting yourself on the back" or you might dislocate your shoulders.

  8. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    The Dude Abides. I don't know about you, but I feel better just knowing that.The Dude Abides. Unlike this site. Maybe this will help?"Cause of 503 Service Unavailable ErrorsThe 503 Service Unavailable error is an HTTP status code that means the web site's server is simply not available right now. Most of the time this is because the server is too busy or because there's maintenance being performed on it.How To Fix the 503 Service Unavailable ErrorThe 503 Service Unavailable error is a server-side error, meaning the problem is usually with the web site's server. It's possible that your computer is having some kind of problem that's causing the 503 error but it's not likely.Regardless, there are a few things you can try: Retry the URL from the address bar again by clicking the reload/refresh button or pressing F5. Even though the 503 Service Unavailable error means that there's an error on another computer, the issue is probably only temporary. Sometimes just trying the page again will work. Come back later. The 503 Service Unavailable error is a common error message on very popular websites when a huge increase in traffic by visitors (that's you!) is overwhelming the servers. As more and more visitors leave the website, the chances of a successful page load for you increases. While the 503 error is still most likely the fault of the web site you're visiting, it's possible that there's an issue with your computer's or router's DNS server configurations and a simple restart of both might fix the problem. Contact the webmaster. There's a very good chance that the website administrators are already working on fixing the 503 error but you can always try to contact the website directly if think that might not be the case."

  9. LoveDaNats - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    I have always liked Bernadina. Some of his climb-the-wall catches have been unbelievable. It's his hitting that has been so inconsistent. I'm happy to see him becoming more comfortable with his swing and hope his success continues..

  10. realdealnats - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    Bernadina's going to have a decent year. I have hope in the man that he hits his stride.

  11. MicheleS - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    LoveDaNats..Totally agree on Bernie's hitting, but I know that i am inviting a firestorm with this, but MAYBE working with Eck on staying "inside" on the ball will help that

  12. Dave - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Every now and again, basically by accident, I slip and read some of those posts written by people without the guts to identify themselves in any way, shape, or form.Threads like this remind me why I slide right past anonymous posts in long threads.Thanks for the refresher, Anon doofuses.

  13. Dave - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    I do look forward to a decent year from the Shark. He has played some exciting outfield. Hope he can improve on offense. I will never forget one game against the Mets (last year? 2010?) in which his getting picked off at second base ended the game.

  14. Jim Webster - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    The raves about Bernadina have omitted a brilliant defensive play yesterday – he absolutely nailed a bullet from mid center field to the plate in the third inning, freezing a Mets runner at third.

  15. sm13 - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    Bernadina has always been all about "potential". He's had so many chances to prove himself, but has always managed to disappoint. I'd like to see him succeed, but I don't think we can be patient anymore. If he is in left field to start the season in place of Morse, he needs to prove himself right away — consistent hitting, reliable outfield play, and wise use of his speed on the basepaths. He can be an asset to this team, but he's gotta show that from Day 1.

  16. Gonat - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    One reason for Bernadina's recent surge in power: He's worked with hitting coach Rick Eckstein on staying "inside" the ball and not flying open on his swing."That's been actually the key," he said. "I came off the ball a lot, almost roll over. That's been working well for me right now."_____________________________________________Its a couple of games. This is ridiculous. Do it for a few weeks and I will be a believer and I am a "Shark" guy.I have said before he has more potential than Ankiel.

  17. realdealnats - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    Felt psychic about Lannan #5 with Det in pen and Wang on DL these past three months and sticking with this psychic prediction:Prediction:Fast forward a few days:OD: Stras puts the screws to the Cubbies and we win 2-1 cobbling together a couple runs.Game 2: Gio tightens up his game and we win 3-2 with Zim going 3 for 4.Game 3: JZimm comes out tough and we power our way to a 2-0 win.Game 4: Jackson pitches ok and we lose.Game 5: Lannan pitches pretty darn well but we get shut out.Remember this prediction all you anons so we can have some fun…Did not envision Werth's homer heard round the world that set off his car alarm.

  18. Golfersal - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    Bernadina reminds me a lot of Justin Maxwell. Gosh they both looked like Gods with great body and lots of potential but Justin was a bust and probably will never be the big leaguer we thought he would be five years ago and the same can be said for Bernadina.Yes he had two great games and is on a roll, but what will we be saying about Bernadina in a week?See him barely making the team, but once Bryce Harper gets it together, Bernadina will be disposed of like yesterdays newspaper.

  19. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    Actually, JMax isn't doing so badly for himself.

  20. Anonymous - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    Berndina needs to get PT in the 2 hole for this club. SOMEONE has to get on for Zim.

  21. Anonymous - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    Dave YOUR knowledge of baseball is what I question asWell as your maturity quotient. Another old fogey Mr. Wilson gumming up the blogs. Go away and Uzi Wiily's be sure to protest your inane guest posts on National's Buzz. Egad numbskull junior journalists piling on Anon's.

  22. Tim - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    The shark is one of the best athletes they have in the system. But as a ball player he has never really had the skills. Here's hoping he finally puts it together.

  23. Anonymous - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Watching the Nats Classic from july 2010. Dibble (ugh) is praising Bernadina to high heavens. He is also trashing Tyler Clippard. Clip blew a lot of saves that year, they seem to be showing all of them recently. Dibble and Carpenter are just ranting about Clip's change-up and about how he needs to stay away from the breaking pitch. Why is he throwing that pitch? In hindsight it's interesting to listen to things like this. I think Clip just needed time for his pitching style to develop – now that change- up is devastating to hitters. They talked about how Riggs was trying to stop him from throwing it. Werth is playing for the Phils – and very well, too. It's just kind of strange sometimes to watch and listen to these games and see how things have changed so very much. Of course, Zim hits a walk-off – that never seems to change. Just imagine if the organization had not been patient with Clippard.

  24. Anonymous - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    Its JMax's last chance as well … he's spent 3 or so years in AAA, He either got it or he don't. Let's hope he does finally … after getting screwed up in his development by good ol' JimBo.

  25. Anonymous - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    If the organization had been more patient with Clippard he might be a dominant starter right now.

  26. Anonymous - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Best 25 go North!! Hope all are well. Been away from computers for some time — man does that feel pretty good (likely for you guys too, not having to read my rants!). :-) Go Nats!dfh21

  27. Anonymous - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Everyone I am certain is hoping Bernadina makes it. He has a lot of flexibility in that he could be at the top of the order if he could continue to walk as he has this spring. Or he could be a #5, #6 hitter. He makes a better choice than Ankiel as a starter for a lot or reasons. But, he's not the best CF. It sure looks to me like the outfield will have a lot of pseudo platoons. Lots of players in and out. Even though Johnson likes a fixed lineup I can't see that with the Nats outfield with the exception of Werth, at least until Morse gets healthy then it will settle down again.

  28. Anonymous - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    If the organization had been more patient with Clippard he might be a dominant starter right now.He still comes apart after 2 or so innings. That seems highly doubtful. He just learned to get out of jams with men on. Before last year he was more effective with the bases empty. The Nats now have plenty of starters and more on the way.

  29. Theophilus - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    Maxwell is out of options and the Nats need a RH-hitting OF. Cheap, and no pain if they had to cut him — again. Keep thinking how long Darnell McDonald spent in the minors.

  30. Theophilus - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    Bernadina has really had plenty of opportunity, including several long stretches in the lineup. And it's probably the third or fourth time the batting coach has straightened out his swing. His Ks are high but not in the Dunn-zone; he doesn't walk very much. He just doesn't seem to (A) find the right pitches to hit; (B) zone in on all the hitting instruction he's been given. Conclusion: it's not his physical skills that are keeping him from reaching his potential. I think his chances of a breakthrough season this year are slim because — unlike the previous two seasons — he's going to be filling in for someone who really needs to be in the lineup if healthy and isn't going to get three or four weeks to demonstrate that he's finally got it figured out and everything under control.Needs to be Langerhans'd.

  31. A DC Wonk - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    Did not envision Werth's homer heard round the world that set off his car alarm. No, it was his car alarm that was heard round the world. ;-)

  32. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    If the organization had been more patient with Clippard he might be a dominant starter right now.Yeah, if only Dennis Eckersley had stayed a starter, he might have really been useful.

  34. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    Jim Webster said … The raves about Bernadina have omitted a brilliant defensive play yesterday – he absolutely nailed a bullet from mid center field to the plate in the third inning, freezing a Mets runner at third.You're talking about the Mets' long reliever on third–a good throw, to be sure. We were laughing listening to to game at home, imagining Davey's reaction if Shark lets a AA relief pitcher tag and score on a medium fly ball.

  35. Anonymous - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    Huh? That Pujols analogy makes no sense. Clipaprd was a starter, he has well more than 100 minor league starts, they gave up on him as a SP when he was 23 years old. He's great as a relief guy, but he may have gotten it together as a SP.

  36. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    Watching Reds @ Rangers on MLB. WTF did Cincinnati do to their uniforms??? Big script "Reds" across a Cardinal jersey?? They had the best logo in the game!

  37. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:51 AM

    And did I mention they gave it a Dodger stripe?

  38. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    Bill Bray (remember him?) in mop-up for the Reds. Looks a little out of sorts, like he's working on something basic in his delivery. Or is he always this all over the place?

  39. NatsLady - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    Yeah, the Reds uniforms have turned ordinary.

  40. Anonymous - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:14 AM

    Section 3, the Eck reference is worse. Youre; reaching my friend. And the funnky ST unies don't go north with the Reds.

  41. NatsLady - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    Joe Beimel released.

  42. Drew - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    Old friend JMAX is Mr. March.Hope he can keep it going.

  43. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:26 AM

    Beimel released, and his Wikipedia page is updated already.

  44. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:28 AM

    I hope JMax does OK, too. Fellow Terp, and a nice guy, AFAIK.

  45. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:30 AM

    You just can't over-value "nice guy." Doesn't win games, but then, that's a short-sighted valuation, IMO.

  46. Anonymous - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    I hope JMax does OK, too. Fellow Terp, and a nice guy, AFAIK.There's that AFLAC duck again!

  47. Joe S. - Mar 27, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    Bernardina is the Dutch word for Maxwell.Wish 'em both luck: they're good guys with ungodly athletic talent. But they remind me of John Kruk's famous line: "Lady, I'm not an athlete. I'm a ballplayer."

  48. Anonymous - Mar 27, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    Oops, my bad. Wrong Dave.Anonymous said… Dave YOUR knowledge of baseball is what I question as Well as your maturity quotient. Another old fogey Mr. Wilson gumming up the blogs. Go away and Uzi Wiily's be sure to protest your inane guest posts on National's Buzz. Egad numbskull junior journalists piling on Anon's. March 26, 2012 9:08 PM

  49. new era hat - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    I am just soooo ready for the real season to begin. I hope the team is ready! Go Nats!!!

  50. fast eddie - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    I'm intrigued by Bernadina and Eckstein's comment re: his swing: "coming off the ball,flying open". I don't know much about the science of hitting, but could this be a "eureka" moment for Bernie? Will we see a newly-created consistent hitter? Or will bad habits re-emerge once the season starts?

  51. Section 3, My Sofa - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Fast Eddie, it's a fairly common correction, for many (if not all, at one time or another) hitters, so probably not a eureka, but you never know. 90% of this game is half mental, as Yogi said.

  52. fast eddie - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Section 3:I'm sure Eckstein helps certain players analyze and tweak their swings. Let's hope Bernie improves as a result. To me, there's the danger of over-thinking all the nuances of the swing (think golf). Some of the best hitters subscribe to the theory: "See the ball, hit the ball".

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 58 48 --
ATLANTA 58 51 1.5
MIAMI 53 55 6.0
NEW YORK 52 56 7.0
PHILADELPHIA 48 61 11.5
Through Thursday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 12:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter