Yunesky Maya makes debut against the Mets

yunesky maya pc.JPGCuban right-hander Yunesky Maya makes his Major League debut tonight. Many years ago, Maya was the bat boy for the team Livan Hernandez played for in Cuba. They are teammates once again.

Maya went 1-1 with a 0.87 ERA (1 ER/10.1 IP) in two starts with the Chiefs. The 28-year-old made five Minor League starts this season, going 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA and a .225 batting average against.

Maya signed with Washington on August 3, 2010, after a stellar career in Cuba. He went 13-4 with seven complete games and a 2.22 ERA last season with the Pinar Del Rio Vegueros of the Cuban National Series (Cuba’s equivalent of Major League Baseball) en route to being recognized as the circuit’s top pitcher.

During his six-year career in Cuba, Maya went 48-29 with a 2.51 ERA. He went a combined 1-1 with a 0.87 ERA in six games/one start pitching for Cuba in the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic.

“I’m very happy for anybody who comes over from Cuba,” Hernandez said. “I was in the same situation in ’95. I heard they were going to sign him. I’ve seen him pitch in Puerto Rico. I think he’s got everything he needs to pitch in the Big Leagues.”

In other notes:

The Nationals recorded their 60th win yesterday, significant in the sense that it bested the ’08 and’09 win totals of 59. The Nationals won 73 games in 2007 and 81 in 2005. It seems unlikely that the Nats will win 81 games but with 15 home games remaining it isn’t out of the question to finish the season 14-10 and win 74 games–a 15 game improvement.

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