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In need of support

Here's your Fourth of July game story, along with the requisite statistical side dish.

Jason Bergmann now has a 1-6 record -- he took the loss yesterday -- but that mark has a Lannanian deceptiveness to it. As a starter this season, Bergmann has a 3.77 ERA. His one relief appearance (2 IP, 4 ER on April 12 against Atlanta) bumps the cumulative ERA up to 4.15, but that's still a few ticks below the league average. Take into account only what we've seen from Bergmann since his mid-May recall from the minors, and the numbers are even better.

He's started 10 games, pitched 61-1/3 innings, averaged 7 strikeouts per every nine innings, and has a 2.64 ERA. Yet somehow, the Nats are 2-8 in those starts.

We've talked a lot about John Lannan's lack of run support this season, but Bergmann's support has been even more futile. Almost unbelievably futile. With Bergmann on the mound in those 10 starts -- that is, before he's taken out of the game -- the Nationals have scored a total, yes, a total, of eight runs.

Among pitchers on pace to throw at least 162 innings this season, Lannan has received the poorest run support in baseball. But if you loosen the qualifications just slightly, and look at all starters in baseball who've thrown at least 50 innings this season, Bergmann has the lowest run support average (1.95). Lannan's run support average (2.43), under these qualifications, is merely second-worst in baseball.

By Chico Harlan  |  July 5, 2008; 11:02 AM ET
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