Results tagged ‘ Livan Hernandez ’

Nats look to sink the Bucs

The Nationals are the only team in the Majors without a series sweep but they have a chance to bring out the brooms tonight. The durable Livan Hernandez will take the mound as he tries to pick up his first win since May 4 tonight against the Pirates.

 

The Pirates don’t have to worry about Strasburg’s 97-99 mph fastball but they do have to deal with the crafty veteran. It is no secret the two pitchers have styles as opposite as the poles, but they both get the job done. Livo has been a reliable arm all season long, pitching on short rest once and at least 5.0 innings in all 11 starts. Granted his fastball is only slightly faster–85 mph–than Strasburg’s curveball, Livo pitches to contact and has an ability to make batter’s look foolish with his slow looping 65 mph curveball.

 

By the Numbers in 2010: Livo looks to get back on the winning road tonight.

First five starts: 4-1 with a 0.99 ERA (36.1 IP/ 4 ER) with 13 walks and a .186 BAA.

Last six starts: 0-2 with a 3.44 ERA (36.2 IP/ 14 ER) with 10 walks and a .277 BAA.

 

Who said it?

“I don’t think it’s weird to call [Strasburg the ace of the staff]. He is obviously our top pitcher right now. I don’t think that’s taking away from anything anyone has done here this year. Guys like him come around once every 10, 15, 20 years.”

 

Interleague play resumes tomorrow. The Nats will play six games in AL parks–three in Cleveland and Detroit–where they can utilize the DH position. It will allow Manager Jim Riggleman the ability to give Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman a pseudo-rest while not taking them out of the lineup. Dunn batted .333 (6-for-18) with two home runs and five RBI in six games last season as the DH.

Pirates (23-36):

1.    Jose Tabata – LF

2.    Neil Walker – 2B

3.    Andrew McCutchen – CF

4.    Garrett Jones – RF

5.    Ryan Doumit – 1B

6.    Bobby Crosby – SS

7.    Adam LaRoche – 3B

8.    Jason Jaramillo – C

9.    Zach Duke – SP (3-6, 5.43 ERA)

Nationals (29-31):

1.      Cristian Guzman – 2B

2.      Ian Desmond – SS

3.      Adam Dunn – 1B

4.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

5.      Josh Willingham – LF

6.      Pudge Rodriguez – C

7.      Michael Morse – RF

8.      Roger Bernadina – CF

9.      Livan Hernandez – SP (4-3, 2.22 ERA

Who said it? Adam Dunn

Capture the Caption… and win FREE tickets to game 1 of Battle of the Beltways

Capture the Caption: Submit your caption to natstown@nationals.com or in the comments section for one or both of the photos below. The winning caption will receive TWO FREE TICKETS to tomorrow’s game against the Baltimore Orioles. 


Livan Hernandez triple vision 1.JPGThird-eyed blind.


Morgan and the guys jumping.JPGGuys…. Guys… wait for me.

Nats off to best start since moving to DC

With the 6-4 win against the Mets today, the Nationals are 19-15 and 7-3-1 in series play. The Nationals are off to their best start since moving to the District in 2005. Not to mention, Livan Hernandez has a 1.04 ERA and Tyler Clippard has seven victories.

 

In 2009, the Nationals didn’t win their 19th game until June 18 and seventh series until July 22.

 

The Nats are a new team. There is a new attitude and it appears to be the beginning of a new era in Nationals baseball. No matter how you choose to say it, the Nationals are winning games and turning heads everywhere they go now. I pulled some quotes from a variety of clips just to prove it.

 

Manager Jim Riggleman: “It’s going to be a challenge. But we feel like more and more, other clubs are going to be looking at us like, ‘Hey, it’s going to be a challenge to play those guys.'”

 

Josh Willingham: “When you win a few games like that, you’re able to believe you can win. That’s what we’re doing. We believe in our pitchers. We believe in our hitters. When we’re in games late, we have confidence we’re going to win them this year.”

 

“Last year, teams just came in and thought it would be an easy series win. That’s not the case this year. You play better baseball, you get respect from people.”

 

Livan Hernandez: “We play hard. We’re a team. We play the right way, [and] we’re going to win some games.”

 

Adam Dunn: “We would have lost this game last year. It seems like we’re finding ways to win close games that in the past we would have lost.”

“You’re not waiting for something bad to happen. It seemed like last year, in a lot of situations, the feeling [was], ‘What’s going to happen now? Something bad’s going to happen.’ This year, it’s … the opposite. Something good’s going to happen. We just don’t know when or how.”

Matt Capps: “We’re resilient out there…We’re fighting all the way to the end. Even the games we haven’t come out on top of, we’ve been in situations in the seventh, eighth, ninth innings to win those ballgames… It’s just a matter of putting it together and maybe a thing or two will go our way.”

Nyjer Morgan: “There is no pressure or buildup on what it takes to play the game. We are professionals. Even the young Ian Desmond, he is a professional. Everybody has each other’s back. We are one cohesive unit, man. It basically started as a problem, but Rizzo is getting the right people in here.”

 

General Mike Rizzo: “In the past, it would have put us in a funk for days. It would have been, ‘We played well, but we lost. Let’s try again tomorrow.’ These guys work harder than I’ve seen during the four-plus years I’ve been here. They were visibly upset that they didn’t win that game. They probably should have won it. They blew the game, but they were going to do something about it. To me that was the most tell-tale sign that we had a different ballclub than we had in the past.”

 

Jimenez vs. Hernandez

If Ubaldo Jimenez and Livan Hernandez pitch today like they have been… this game will last two hours and end 1-0. Jimenez is coming off a no-hitter–he did walk six batters though–and Hernandez is coming off a complete game shutout and hasn’t allowed a run in 16.0 innings. Who will make the first mistake?

 

I bet you are thinking this must be the first time that a pitcher who just pitched a no-hitter is squaring off against a pitcher who just threw a complete game shutoutnot so fast, buddy. According to the people of infinite baseball knowledge at Elias Sports Bureau, this has happened once in the last 90 seasons. It came on May 17, 1996 at Wrigley Field, when the Marlins’ Al Leiter (no-hitter, May 11 vs. COL) and the Cubs’ Jim Bullinger (two-hit shutout, May 12 at NYM) toed the rubber. They both pitched well that afternoon–they allowed just three runs on six hits in 15.0 combined innings–as the Cubs prevailed, 3-1.

 

Ryan Zimmerman is not in today’s lineup after being pulled from last night’s game in the eighth inning with a cramp/strain in his right leg. This might be the only time you see today’s lineup. Zimmerman and Willingham are out. Cristian Guzman is starting in right field and Willie “The home run hitter” Harris is batting third–though he does have a career average of .400 (4-for-10) in the three hole.

 

Today’s starting lineups:

Rockies (7-8):

1.      Carlos Gonzalez – RF

2.      Dexter Fowler – CF

3.      Todd Helton – 1B

4.      Troy Tulowitzki – SS

5.      Ian Stewart – 3B

6.      Ryan Spilborghs – LF

7.      Miguel Olivo – C

8.      Clint Barmes – 2B

9.      Ubaldo Jimenez – RHP (3-0, 1.29 ERA)

 

Nationals (8-7):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Cristian Guzman – RF

3.      Willie Harris – LF

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Pudge Rodriguez – C

6.      Adam Kennedy – 2B

7.      Ian Desmond – SS

8.      Alberto Gonzalez – 3B

9.      Livan Hernandez – RHP (2-0, 0.00 ERA)

Monday morning short hops

·         The Nats wrapped up opening week with back-to-back wins against the Mets. The Nats are .500 for the first time since April 5, 2008 after a 5 RBI day by Josh Willingham and a brilliant pitching performance by Livan Hernandez. The Hammer hit a grand slam in the top of the first off of Johan Santana–originally ruled a triple only to be overturned by instant replay. It was Willingham’s fifth grand slam of his career and the first since he became the 13 player to hit two in one game on July 27 last season at Milwaukee. According to the Elias Sports Bureau… “Willingham’s first slam was for the Marlins on Aug. 11, 2007 off the Mets’ Guillermo Mota at Shea Stadium. No player has hit bases-loaded homers at both Shea and Citi Field for the Mets, but Willingham and Albert Pujols have done so as visitors.”

 

·         Stephen Strasburg earned his first professional victory, leading the Harrisburg Senators to a 5-4 win over the Altoona Curve. Strasburg’s final line was: 5 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K. He threw 82 pitches, 55 for strikes.

“I definitely was super excited,” Strasburg said. “There definitely was a lot of anticipation for this outing. I went out there, from the get-go, I knew I was moving a little too quick out there. I had the adrenaline pumping. I was able to settle down and keep the team in the ballgame. Lucky enough, the bats came alive.”

·         Drew Storen closed out the first game for Stephen Strasburg and earned his first save of the season.

“I don’t want to be the guy blowing his first win,” Storen said. “Hopefully it’s a sign of things to come. Hopefully, it won’t be the last time for me doing that.”

·         Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore writes Scott Olsen will replace Garrett Mock in the Nationals rotation and will start the Thursday game in Philadelphia.

·         ESPN’s Keith Law’s take on Strasburg’s Double-A Debut–Insider only.

“Strasburg’s velocity was incredible; he hit 99 with his first pitch and reached that mark two other times in the third inning. He didn’t throw a fastball under 97 until the fourth. Over his final two innings, he was 94-97, although he threw several pitches in the 94-96 range that had the slight tail of a two-seam fastball. His fastball command wasn’t great, although that may have been more a function of situation than inability to locate. His best, most consistent pitch was his curveball, 78-83 mph with incredibly sharp two-plane break and a downward finish, and he threw it for strikes most of the day. His worst pitch was, as before, his changeup, still a work in progress, although he threw several that were plus in the 87-88 mph range with hard downward tail; he overthrew several changeups, some as hard as 92, and didn’t locate the pitch well, throwing many (if not most) below the zone.”

·         Wall Street Journal’s Robert Costa sat down with Nationals season ticket holder and Pulitzer Prize writer George F. Will to talk about everything and anything baseball related.

“In baseball, if you’re a terrific young athlete, you’re going to spend some time on a bus, going from Laramie to Carlsbad,” Will said. “If you go to Ohio State and they make you into a running back, you’re able to go straight into the NFL. Or in college basketball, it’s one and done–you have a great year and then you’re rich, really rich. Baseball remains a humbling game, and partly because of that I think it’s still a pretty admirable slice of young American manhood.”

Lineups 9/27

Braves:

McLouth – CF

Prado – 2B

Jones – 3B

McCann – C

Anderson – LF

Escobar – SS

LaRoche – 1B

Diaz – RF

Lowe – RHP (15-9, 4.55)

 

Nationals:

Harris – CF

Desmond – SS

Zimmerman – 3B

Willingham – LF

Dukes – RF

Morse – 1B

Burke – C

Gonzalez – 2B

Hernandez – RHP (8-12, 5.33)

 

·         In yesterday’s game, Mike Morse hit a 3-run pinch-hit homer in the fifth inning. It was his first career pinch-hit home run and first home run since August 15, 2005 against Kansas City.

 

·         The Braves are still in the running for the NL Wild Card due to a hot streak late in the season. Atlanta has won 5 straight games, 6 of 7 and 13 of their last 15. They are now a season-high 14 games over .500 and have won 9 consecutive road contests.

 

·         Nationals starting pitchers have allowed just one homer in the last 12 games (65.2 innings). The only blemish in that span was Matt Kemp’s first-inning three-run blast off J.D. Martin on Thursday in DC.

 

Capture the Caption and lineups 9/6

Marlins:

Coghlan – LF

Johnson – 1B

Ramirez – SS

Cantu – 3B

Uggla – 2B

Ross – RF

Paulino – C

Maybin – CF

Sanchez – P (RHP, 2-6, 5.01)

 

Nationals:

Harris – CF

Guzman – SS

Zimmerman – 3B

Dunn – 1B

Willingham – LF

Dukes – RF

Gonzalez – 2B

Nieves – C

Martin – P (RHP, 3-4, 4.60)

 

Capture the Caption: Submit your caption to natstown@nationals.com or in the comments section. The winning caption receives a free Nationals T-shirt.
Livan.JPG

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).

 

 

Livan Hernandez is Back


 
41405-380 opening night c.jpgLivan Hernandez is back. The person who threw out both the first pitch in the history of the Nationals (April 4, 2005 at Philadelphia) and the first pitch in Washington, DC (April 14, 2005 vs. Arizona) after 33 summers without Big League baseball is a member of the Washington Nationals again.

 

Following last night’s 15-6 win at Wrigley Field, the Nationals signed free agent right-handed pitcher Livan Hernandez and optioned right-handed pitcher Collin Balester to Syracuse after going 1-4 with a 6.82 ERA in seven starts for the Nationals this season.

 

“We are running out of innings with some of our young guys, and I refuse to push them past their limits,” General Manager Mike Rizzo said. “Livan was available, and I talked about him with our player personnel people. He is a good guy in the clubhouse. He has some friends here on the ballclub. He is nothing but a workhorse and a reliable arm to get some innings and get us through the rest of the season.”

 


hernandez c.jpgHernandez is an inning-eater that pitches to contact and lets his defense make plays. He won’t overpower anyone with his mid-80’s fastball but changes speeds well and throws a curveball that crawls to the plate. The Nats are just happy they don’t have to face him again. Three of his top pitching performances of the year have been against the Nats. In three games against the Nats, he went 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA (9ER/ 23.0 INN) with 13 strikeouts and seven walks.

 

Hernandez, 34, went 24-18 with a 4.49 ERA in 59 starts with the Nats during the 2005 and ’06 seasons. Including his days with the Expos, Hernandez went 50-43 with a 3.89 ERA in 127 starts for the Nationals/Expos franchise from 2003-06. Since being dealt to the Diamondbacks on August 7, 2006, Hernandez has pitched for Arizona, Minnesota, Colorado and New York (NL).

 

“His locker is going to be next to mine,” said Pitcher Garrett Mock, who the Nationals obtained when they traded Hernandez to Arizona in 2006. “I think Livan is an unbelievable pitcher. He has [a World Series] MVP Award. He seems to perform. It’s going to be a pleasure to watch the guy up close, watch him work and attack hitters. I’m going to pick his brain a little bit. It’s exciting.”

 

He will make his first start on Wednesday at Chicago (NL), while J.D. Martin (2-3, 4.76) will start Thursday’s series finale at Wrigley Field.

 

With 24 victories, Hernandez remains the winningest pitcher in the five-year history of the Nationals (2005-present), and he remains the leader in innings pitched (393.0). Hernandez’s 59 starts for the Nationals rank second behind John Lannan’s 63, and his 236 strikeouts rank third.

 

In 2005, he was the first National to participate in an All-Star Game.

 

Hernandez joins with the Nationals after going 7-8 with a 5.47 ERA in 23 starts for the Mets this season. He is 154-147 with a 4.43 ERA in 405 games (404 starts) spanning 14 Big League seasons. He is the only current Big League pitcher to have started at least 30 games 11 straight seasons. He needs seven more starting assignments to extend this streak to 12.

 

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