Apr 11, 2010, 10:06 PM EDT
NEW YORK — After a week's worth of shaky starts, high pitch counts and early exits, an old friend stepped to the mound today at Citi Field and showed the rest of the Nationals' rotation how it's done.
Livan Hernandez, that crafty, big right-hander who once held the title of Nationals staff ace, put down the hammer today. He tossed seven innings of scoreless ball, needed only 88 pitches to do it and showed his teammates first-hand what it takes to win at the big-league level, leading Washington to a 5-2 victory over the Mets.
"That's what you're supposed to do, just what he did," manager Jim Riggleman said. "And I'm sure some of our guys took notice."
Riggleman can only hope the rest of his pitching staff was paying attention to the 35-year-old. Hernandez may not have better stuff than Garrett Mock, Jason Marquis, John Lannan and Craig Stammen, but the guy sure does understand how to pitch.
And as we've seen already in this young season, that counts just as much (if not more) than everything else.
As outfielder Willie Harris put it: "Livo made a statement."
And because of that statement, the Nationals left town this evening with a 3-3 record, a full game better than the Mets. What's the big deal about that? This represents the first time the Nats have been in sole possession of anything other than last place in the NL East sinceRead more »
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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