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08/14/08 12:08 AM ET

Bergmann pounded in Nationals' loss

Right-hander gives up 10 runs to Mets as 'pen gets no relief

WASHINGTON -- Right-hander Jason Bergmann had his worst outing of the season as the Nationals were pounded by the Mets, 12-0, at Nationals Park on Wednesday night. It marked the 18th time that Washington was blanked this season.

Washington needed Bergmann to go deep into the game because the relievers pitched 18-plus innings the previous five games, but he didn't get the job done. He lasted three innings, gave up 10 runs -- six earned -- on eight hits, walked six batters and struck out one.

The last Nationals pitcher to give up 10 runs in a game was right-hander Jason Simontacchi on June 19, 2007, against the Tigers.

"He just didn't have it," manager Manny Acta said about Bergmann. "He just couldn't throw anything for a strike, especially inside. He got hit around by a good team. "

The Mets went to work on Bergmann early and often. In the first inning, David Wright hit a sacrifice fly to center fielder Lastings Milledge to drive in Jose Reyes.

In the next inning, Fernando Tatis took Bergmann's 0-1 pitch and hit the ball over the left-field wall for a home run and gave the Mets a 2-0 lead.

The third inning was one Bergmann would probably rather forget, as the Mets scored eight runs on four hits and five walks. Carlos Beltran highlighted the scoring with a two-run double. Bergman threw 51 pitches in the inning and acknowledged that he was tired by the time he left the game.

As Bergmann was getting lit up, there was no one warming up in the bullpen. The only reliever who got up during the inning was right-hander Garrett Mock, but he did it just to stretch. Besides, he is not available to pitch until Thursday.

"I really don't care what people think -- we have to do what we have to do," Acta said. "There are times when the pitchers have to take it on the chin for their teammates. Everybody knows the situation. So we're going to try to get 100 pitches or five innings out of him regardless. It was that it was way too much up until the third -- pitch count-wise."

Bergmann knew all along that he had to take one for the team. After the game ended, Bergmann went to his teammates and said, "My bad."

"I walked a few guys in bad situations -- it just wasn't a good game," Bergmann said. "I needed to get an out and I couldn't do it. There were a few situations where I needed an out.

"In no way was I looking down the 'pen for any help. My job today was to keep the game close, but secondly, go as long as I could. If it was a better game, I could have had more innings."

Outfielder Willie Harris was present when Bergmann's apologized to his teammates.

"He gave us his best effort," Harris said of Bergmann. "Those guys hit him pretty good today.

"I'm sure when his start comes up again, it won't happen again. He has been around, so he knows what to do."

On the other side of the ball, Washington was no match for right-hander John Maine, who pitched five shutout innings, giving up one hit. For the game, Washington collected four hits. Three of those hits were against reliever Brian Stokes, who pitched the last four innings.

The only time Washington had two runners on base was in the fifth and it came with two outs.

"There are really no answers for it," said Harris about the Nationals' sputtering offense. "I just say, keep working hard and go to the plate with a plan. Manny told us that early in the season. Just don't give up on your plan. Just keep working. It will change."

The Nationals are now on a six-game losing streak and dropped their record to 44-77.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.