Mr. Durability

Livan Hernandez isn’t flashy on the mound. He doesn’t throw fast. He doesn’t overpower batters. He just puts the ball in play and lets his defense make plays. That’s exactly what he did last night against the Cubs. The Nats came up short but it wasn’t because of the starting pitcher.

Just about three years and three weeks since his last start for the Nats on August 6th, 2006, Hernandez put on a Washington jersey again and toed the rubber against the Cubs. It was vintage Livan: he pitched six solid innings giving up five hits and a two-run home run, mixed in his breaking stuff with his 85 mph not-so-fast-ball and showed off his skills in the field. He got the no-decision but he is just glad to be back in the Nats clubhouse.

“It’s nice to be back,” Hernandez said. “I love the city. I’ve been asking every year to go back. Inside, it’s very emotional. I’m very happy. I’d like to thank the people here for giving me a chance to come back.”

Livan is a great model of Major League longevity. Since 1997 among all active and non-active players, the two-time All-Star ranks at the top or near the top in innings pitched, complete games and starts. He has started at least 30 games the past 11 seasons and needs just six more starts with the Nats to make it 12 straight seasons. His future is uncertain beyond this season, but you can bet your life savings that he will pitch every fifth day for the Nats in September.

Major League Leaders since 1997

Innings Pitched

 

Complete Games

 

Starts

 

1. Livan Hernandez  

2689.0

1. Randy Johnson    

59

t1. Greg Maddux

408

2. Greg Maddux         

2642.2

2. Curt Schilling        

56

t1. Jamie Moyer

408

3. Randy Johnson     

2610.0

3. Livan Hernandez 

46

3. Livan Hernandez

405

4. Jamie Moyer         

2598.2

4. Roy Halladay        

45

4. Andy Pettitte

392

5. Andy Pettitte        

2495.0

5. Pedro Martinez   

39

5. Tom Glavine

384

 

Hernandez recorded his 405th career start and was the 11 pitcher to start a game for the Nats this year. The other 10 have a combined 432 career starts. (Daniel Cabrera (154 career starts), Scott Olsen (112), John Lannan (63), Collin Balester (22) and Shairon Martis (19) are the top five and only Lannan is currently in the rotation.)

At the Plate: Hernandez is a career .227 hitter (193-for-849) with 34 doubles (first among active pitchers) and nine home runs (third among active pitchers).

 

 

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