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Game Thread: Washington Nationals at Pittsburgh Pirates- 2008 Game 68 of 162. "From Neptune, To Montreal, To DC."

On The Hill...

From Neptune...New Jersey, through Rutgers University in New Brunswick, to Montreal with the Expos and now here in DC, Jason Bergmann's come to throw fastballs, sinking ones, often and always (hopefully) down in the zone, though's Bill Ladson writes, in a recent article entitled, "Acta confronts Dukes in Nats' dugout", that Washington Manager Manny Acta believes Bergmann's best pitch is his curve.

The Acta/Bergmann anecdote Mr. Ladson recounts is mentioned because of the fact that DC Manager Manny Acta publicly chastised Jason Bergmann on the mound in his last start, with a rare non-substitution visit to the mound by the Manager, who saved Pitching Coach Randy St. Claire from simply repeating what the Skipper wanted said after Bergmann walked the opposing pitcher to load the bases last time out against the Giants.

Jason Bergmann pitched just 3.0 innings at home against San Francisco, his second shortest outing of the season, behind only Bergmann's April 12th start in Atlanta in which he pitched just 2.0 innings, allowing 4 hits and 4 runs on 2 HR's in Nationals Park, after which he found himself pitching for the Clippers, the Nationals' Triple-AAA affiliate in Columbus, Ohio.

Bergmann's (1-3) with a 5.23 ERA in 7 starts and 8 appearances this year, giving up 49 hits in 43.0 innings, and surrendering 25 ER's and 10 HR's, with an impressive (42:10 K:BB ratio). Bergmann hasn't won a start since his first upon being recalled to face New York on the road at Shea on May 15th. Since then, Bergmann's (0-2) with 2 no-decisions, giving up 17 hits, 9 ER's and 5 HR's with 2 walks and 8 K's over his last 2 starts and 11 innings on the mound. In his four-year MLB career, Bergmann's (0-1) with 1 start and 3 appearances against Pittsburgh, with a 9.00 ERA in 6.0 innings pitched.

Pirates' righty Tom Gorzelanny faces the Washington Nationals for the second time in his four Major League seasons, having beaten Washington in his only previous outing, last June 30th in PNC Park, in a game in which the 6'2'' native of Evergreen Park, Illinois, and 2003 2nd Round Draft pick threw 7.1 innings, allowing 5 hits and 2 runs in a wining effort.

So far in '08, Gorzelanny's (4-5) with a 6.83 ERA in 12 starts, pitching 59.1 innings over which he's surrendered 63 hits, 45 runs and 9 HR's with 43 walks and 29 K's.

Nationals' #'s Against Tom Gorzelanny...

Ronnie "B" - 1 for 3, .333 AVG, 1 HR, 1 RBI.

DY - 1 for 3, .333 AVG, 1 RBI.

Lastings Milledge - 2 for 2, 1.000 AVG, 1 2B.

The "If They Were Playing" List...

Ryan Zimmerman - 2 for 3, .667 AVG, 1 2B.

Paul Lo Duca - 4 for 6, .667 AVG, 2 2B, 4 RBI's.

Bergmann Should Be Careful With...

Ryan Doumit - 2 for 2, 1.000 AVG, 1 2B. (7 for 8, 3 HR's, 4 RBI's, 4 runs, .358 AVG on the year after games 1 and 2 of this series.)

Adam LaRoche - 2 for 8, .250 AVG, 1 2B, 4 RBI's.

Freddy Sanchez - 2 for 3, .667 AVG, 2 RBI's.

"Zimmerman Watch" - Federal Baseball's 24-Hour, 22 Hou...12 Hour... Intermittent Dodgy Coverage of the BREAKING NEWS! And ACTION!!......

According to's Bill Ladson's article entitled, "Doctor confirms Zimmerman's problem", the Nationals' third baseman has, "...a small tear in the anterior labrum of his left shoulder and also has some mild rotator cuff weakness." Then Mr. Ladson drops the real bad news:

"Zimmerman, who hasn't played since May 25, is expected to miss four to six more weeks...(and) Zimmerman is expected to avoid baseball-related activities for the next month."

I Don't Want To Pick On Nationals' Manager Manny Acta, BUT...

In Washington Post Staff Writer Chico Harlan's recent article, "Acta Insists Incident With Dukes Is Done", Manager Manny Acta uses a variation on the tired Las Vegas ad campaign, where he's quoted by Mr. Harlan stating, "What happens in Pittsburgh stays in Pittsburgh", in reference to the argument he and Dukes had in the dugout Tuesday night at PNC Park. This phrase, or any variation on it, is running a close second behind anyone stating that someone has thrown someone else "under the bus", on the list of phrases I wish I'd never hear again, and the fact that I've had to write them both myself, in order to complain here, only makes me more perturbed. Let's just put those two phrases on the shelf, alongside, "Where's the beef?" "That's Hot", and any and all Austin Powers impersonations, and Mr. Acta can just say that any problem with Dukes is behind them...

It's a day game tomorrow at 12:35 pm EST. Bergmann vs Gorzelanny. Rubber match. Who's gonna be the hero in the series finale in PNC Park?