Livan Hernandez Improves To 7-0 In Last 7 Starts Against Washington Nationals, 7-0 Mets Win.

Livan Hernandez entered this afternoon's game against Washington (6-0) in 6 starts since he last lost to the Nationals back on September 2, 2006, the same year that he was traded from DC to Arizona bringing an end to the tenure of the first Nationals' ace. Hernandez threw 116 pitches this afternoon, 70 of them for strikes, and the 34-year-old soft-tossing right-hander allowed just 4 hits in 7.0 shutout innings in which he walked 4 and K'd 4 before leaving with a 6-0 lead. Pedro Feliciano, Bobby Parnell and Francisco Rodriguez combined to hold the Nationals off the board with three more scoreless frames over which the Nationals managed just one additional hit. Hernandez improves to (5-1) on the mound in '09 and (7-0) in his last 7 starts against DC. The Nationals drop to 15-40 on the season with the loss. DC righty Craig Stammen, who gives up 5 runs in the first, remains winless in 4 starts this season, falling to (0-2). Washington gets shutout for the first time since April 22nd, when Atlanta's 1-0 win dropped DC to 3-11...

Mets win, 7-0 final. 

HEADLINES: (Coverage continues after the jump.)

The Nationals Answer the ?'s For The DC Faithful...(Under Construction)...

• Are Two Wins In A Row Too Much To Ask For?

• Olsen's Coming Back, Who Drops Out Of The Rotation.

• Can The Nationals Make It Through One Game Without An Error?

Miss The Game? Check Out The Game Thread To See What The DC Faithful Saw...

See The Game From A Mets' Fan's Perspective In the Amazin' Avenue GameThread.

For The Completists, Complete Game Report After The Jump...

Nationals now 15-40.

HEADLINES: 

The Nationals Answer the ?'s For The DC Faithful...

• Are Two Wins In A Row Too Much To Ask For?

The Washington Nationals have won more than two straight only once this season, when they beat the Dodgers once and the D-Backs twice in three-straight during an early May road trip through LA, Arizona and San Francisco. In the first week of May, DC defeated the Cardinals and Astros in back-to-back games that were separated by a postponement, and their chance at a third straight win was suspended because of rain in the next game against Houston. The Nationals took two-straight from the Braves on April 20th and 21st, but other than that it's been pretty much one win per series, if they're lucky, which we know by the Nationals' record they're not...The Nationals have been swept in 6 of 19 '09 series, and have now lost 19 of their last 23 games overall. 

• Olsen's Coming Back, Who Drops Out Of The Rotation.

MLB.com's Bill Ladson provided us with some information on DC lefty Scott Olsen in an blog post today entitled, "Olsen going on rehab assignment", in which he wrote:

"When Olsen comes back, one of the starters in the young rotation has to be sent down to Triple-A Syracuse. It will mostly likely be between left-hander Ross Detwiler and right-hander Craig Stammen."

Stammen's first inning today, in which he allowed 2 walks, 2 doubles, a single and 2 wild pitches to push 5 runs across for New York, may have sealed his fate, earning him a ticket to Syracuse, had it not been for the fact that he responded so well to the bad first by throwing four scoreless frames in which he allowed two two-out singles and a two-out double that didn't result in any runs for NY. Stammen drops to (0-2, 6.45 ERA), and has now allowed 24 hits and 16 ER in 22.1 IP, in which he's surrendered 2 HR's and 6 walks, while holding opponents to a .267 AVG. 

Ross Detwiler, (0-2, 5.23 ERA) in 4 starts, has given up 25 hits and 12 ER in 20.2 IP, and he's collected 17 K's while allowing just 6 walks and 1 HR. Opposing teams are hitting .280 against Detwiler, who turned turned 23 in March. Stammen, 25, started the season with Triple-A Syracuse, but was called up to make his debut three days after Detwiler was summoned from Double-AA Harrisburg to make his first major league start, though that has more to do with which pitcher was scheduled to throw when he was needed...Stammen was (4-2) with 14 K's, 8 walks and a 1.80 ERA in 7 starts and 40.0 IP with Syracuse before he got the call. Detwiler was (0-3) with 28 K's and 10 BB in 6 starts and 27.1 IP for the Senators. So you play the GM, Who stays if Olsen returns? How do you make your decision? Is a strikeout threat like Detwiler better suited for the Majors? Or a sinker-baller like Stammen? Who stays, Who goes? Can DC keep them both and leave Olsen out?

• Can The Nationals Make It Through One Game Without An Error? No.

E: 54. The Washington Nationals were three outs away from their first error-free game of the weekend series with the Mets when a ground ball to first from Mets' left fielder Fernando Martinez was fielded by Nick Johnson and tossed up into the air for DC righty Mike MacDougal, who had made his way over to cover the bag, and missed it while focusing on stepping on the bag before the speedy Martinez. MacDougal gets charged with the error, though the toss from Johnson was behind him slightly, making for a difficult grab. MacDouga's first error of '09 is the Nationals' Major League-leading 54th error of the season.

FULL GAME REPORT: 

New York Mets At Washington Nationals. Game 55 of 162. 

Alex Cora leads off for New York, Craig Stammen’s eager to get started and he goes into his delivery as soon as Cora steps to the plate. Stammen issues a four-pitch walk, and an RBI double to today’s NY left fielder Fernando Martinez who doubles over Elijah Dukes head in center to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Carlos Beltran hits a productive groundout to Anderson Hernandez at second. David Wright takes a 3-1 pitch inside and takes his base. A wild pitch from Stammen allows Fernando Martinez to score from third, and Wright, who was running takes second on the bouncer that gets by Bard. 2-0 Mets. Daniel Murphy lines a single over short, and it’s 3-0 NY before the Nationals come up to bat. Ryan Church gets a sinking fastball inside and too high, and Church hits off the base of the out-of-town scoreboard in right. Brian Schneider lines out to right, and not even Austin Kearns can throw Muphy out. 4-0 NY. Second and third with Wilson Valdez at bat, and another wild pitch brings Church home, 5-0 Mets. Valdez K’s swinging over a two-strike change...Cristian Guzman rolls the second pitch he sees out to second. Livan Hernandez gets Nick Johnson flinching with a two-strike curve high in the zone and outside for a backwards K. Ryan Zimmerman hits a fly ball to Church in right to end the first.

 

Livan Hernandez lines out to short, where Cristian Guzman has to get some air to make the grab. Alex Cora skies one to short right for Adam Dunn to get under. Fernando Martinez grounds out to second to end the top of the frame...Adam Dunn lines out to right field, where Church makes the catch. Elijah Dukes sends a long fly into the right center gap and Carlo Beltran glides over to make it look easy. Austin Kearns takes an 86 mph full-count fastball outside for a two-out walk. Josh Bard steps out after Livan’s started and Hernandez is not amused. Bard ends up walking to give Anderson "Elvis" Hernandez a two-out chance. Anderson Hernandez K’s swinging to end the second. 

 

Carlos Beltran hits a high fastball to first for Nick Johnson to take care of. David Wright pops out to second. Stammen hangs a sinking fastball up on the outside edge and Daniel Murphy pushes it through short for a single. Elijah Dukes sprints back to the track to catch Ryan Church’s flyout...Craig Stammen grounds out to Livan on the first base side of the infield. Cristian Guzman singles to center in front of "Two-Spot". Nick Johnson flies out to left center, Beltran gets that too. Ryan Zimmerman flies out to center.  

 

Brian Schneider hits the first out of the fourth to Anderson Hernandez at second. Wilson Valdez grounds to Zimmerman at third, who fields and fires. Livan Hernandez singles to right with two down. Stammen throws a hard sinking fastball by Alex Cora to get out No. 3 of the fourth...Adam Dunn takes a 1-0 pitch out over the plate to right center for a leadoff single. Elijah Dukes flies to short right, Church charges in to make the catch. Austin Kearns K's swinging at a two-strike fastball outside. Josh Bard takes a two-out walk to put two on for Anderson Hernandez. Livan gets a glove on a sharp grounder from Anderson, and it bounces right to Cora, who throws to first to end the fourth. 

 

Fernando Martinez hits the first out of the fifth to Adam Dunn at the track in left. Anderson Hernandez charges in and fires quickly to first on a slow roller from Carlos Beltran. David Wright lines one to the gap in left center and Wright takes second on Dukes, who fires in wide of the bag. Daniel Murphy lines out to Dunn in left to end the top of the fifth...Alberto Gonzalez hits for Craig Stammen, who’s out after four scoreless, and, uh, that first inning. Gonzalez lines a single to center, but Cristian Guzman grounds to first, Murphy to Cora to Muphy, double play. Nick Johnson gets called out looking again. 

 

Jesus "Everyday" Colome gives up a line-drive single to Ryan Church to start the sixth. Wild pitch from Colome to moves Ryan Church to second. Brian Schneider hits the productive groundout to second, Church to third. WIlson Vadez can’t catch up to a two-strike fastball upstairs. Livan Hernandez  grounds out to second to end NY’s sixth...Ryan Zimmerman leads off the DC sixth with a line drive single to right. Adam Dunn walks to put two on for Elijah Dukes. Dukes pops out on the first pitch he sees. Austin Kearns grounds into a double play to end the inning.

 

Alex Cora shoots a single through short for a leadoff single off Jesus Colome. Fernando Martinez flies unproductively to left. Carlos Beltran flies out to Adam Dunn all the way in the corner in left field. David Wright comes through with the two-out RBI single on a fastball from Colome, 6-0 NY. Daniel Murphy walks with two down. Ryan Church grounds out to short to end the top of the seventh...Alex Cora dives for Josh Bard’s one-hop liner to second, and throws out the DC catcher. Anderson Hernandez pops out to Alex Cora in foul territory out toward right field. Pinch hitter Willie Harris sends Church back to the track. 

 

Brian Schneider doubles off DC righty Julian Tavarez to lead off the eight, but he gets tagged at second when he’s caught in the headlights on a sharp grounder from Wilson Valdez to short. Elijah Dukes takes a few steps back to catch the second out off Jeremy Reed’s bat. Alex Cora gets robbed by a rolling Anderson Hernandez who fields, rolls in the grass and jumps up to fire to first in time to end the top of the frame...Pedro Feliciano gets Cristian Guzman swinging at an off-speed pitch outside. NIck Johnson flies out to Beltran in dead center. A two-out walk to Ryan Zimmerman brings Adam Dunn up. Dunn lines a single over center to put two on for Dukes. Feliciano’s out. Bobby Parnell vs Elijah Dukes with two out, two on. Dukes lines the third out right into Beltran’s breadbasket.

 

Mike MacDougal starts the ninth. Fernando Martinez reaches first on an errant throw from Nick Johnson to MacDougal covering. E:54. Carlos Beltran lines a double into the right center gap on a fastball from MacDougal. Martinez scores, 7-0 Mets. MacDougal walks David Wright. Daniel Murphy grounds to Johnson to Guzman to MacDougal, double play. Ryan Church flies out to Dunn in left...Austin Kearns vs K-Rod. Kearns K’s swinging through a fastball from Rodriguez. Bard takes a one-out walk. Daniel Murphy throws to second on Anderson Hernandez’s grounder to first. Ronnie Belliard pops up foul of first and Daniel Murphy makes the catch. Mets win, 7-0 final. 

 

Nationals now 15-40. 

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