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Bergmann Is Pitching For Next Year

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 20, 2007

Jason Bergmann said yesterday he has learned one thing above all else this year. "It takes a lot to stay up here," he said.

The Washington Nationals' 25-year-old right-hander will start tonight against the Philadelphia Phillies as he nears the end of his first full year in the majors. Though Bergmann has pitched well at times -- he is 3-0 with a 3.86 ERA in four starts since coming back from a hamstring injury -- he believes his performance in the final month, as well as in the offseason, will determine his future.

"You can say, 'Well, I spent all last year in the big leagues,' " Bergmann said. "But it's going to be a new-look team next year. My position is not going to be guaranteed. I'm going to have to go out there and prove myself worthy of a spot."

After a shaky outing in his first start -- when he walked six -- Bergmann was on the verge of being sent down. He said one of the benefits of staying in the majors all season was being able to work with pitching coach Randy St. Claire.

"I fell into a small rut, and he was able to say, 'This is what you're doing. You're going to continue to pitch bad until you correct it,' " Bergmann said.

Promos

The Nationals unveiled plans for their final weekend at RFK Stadium, which include team photos for the first 35,000 fans Saturday night and commemorative T-shirts to the first 30,000 on Sunday. Several former Washington Senators, including slugger Frank Howard, will be on hand, and the club will have a postgame ceremony in which home plate will be dug up to be transported to the new ballpark in Southeast Washington.

The game was moved to 12:05 p.m. to accommodate fans who want to attend or watch the 4 p.m. Redskins game. . . . Bob Carpenter, the play-by-play man for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, met Monday with Nationals President Stan Kasten about his future. Carpenter had no further comment, but sources said the Nationals will at least pursue other options in the offseason. Carpenter's partner, Don Sutton, has a deal that could last four years.

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