Livan Hernandez returned last night and earned a no decision in a Nationals 9-4 loss against the Cubs.
Just like vintage Livan, the old Cuban pitched six strong innings of junk, allowing only five hits, and two earned runs, while striking out six. While the sight of our former ace back in a Washington uniform was a sight for sore eyes, seeing him leave the mound was a sight to be dreaded.
Hernandez left the game at the end of the sixth inning with the game tied at two runs apiece, it didn’t stay that way for very long. Jason Bergmann took the mound and in one inning of work allowed two hits, and let the third run for the Cubs cross the plate as Milton Bradley reached on a unsuccessful fielders choice.
With the game still in reach, the Nationals entered the top of the eighth down one with a chance to tie it up. Despite a Ryan Zimmerman double with two outs, the Nats could not convert with the heart of their order at the plate.
The bottom of the eight was where the wheels fell off for the Nationals. The Cubs exploded for six Jorge Sosa runs and the game became out of reach. Cubs won 9-4.
In other news:
Rob Dibble goes on a Twitter Blocking Tirade! Apparently MASN color commentator Rob Dibble blocked two prominent Nationals bloggers, Miss Chatter and Nats Enquirer on twitter, and according to them, neither had said anything deserving it. Miss Chatter said:
"For someone representing the ballclub who is supposed to help fans understand the game and remain faithful to the club, this is surprising to me and something I would consider a clueless act when it comes to social media. You don’t publicly pick fights with fans of the club you represent for one (which he has done, but then deleted later)."
Aaron Gleeman from Circling The Bases looks at a poll done on Sports Illustrated which asked 380 major leaguers to name the player who got the least amount out of the most talent. Of the top five are four Nationals:
- Wily Mo Pena
- Daniel Cabrera
- Elijah Dukes
- J.D Drew
- Mike MacDougal
Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the Nationals will be in the market for a long-term veteran pitcher:
Riggleman acknowledged that the Nationals had interest in veterans such as right-handers John Smoltz and Vicente Padilla when they became free agents recently, but those two pitchers wanted to play on winning teams. Padilla signed with the Dodgers, while Smoltz signed with the Cardinals.
Some people will be really against this idea. Many think it is a waste to give innings away to pitchers who’s careers are dwindling when you could be giving them to a young pitcher who can learn from them. The Nationals do have a lot of those laying around….
It makes sense on the part of the front office however. Pitchers like Smoltz, Glavine, or Padilla would have provided some relief and leadership from the chaos that was the 2009 Nationals starting rotation. They could also make the argument that these pitchers would be a good influence on the young ones, but most importantly it would probably give them 5-10 more wins a season….whether or not those wins matter is up in the air.