Washington Nationals/New York Yankees GameThread: Former Expos' Aces Duel.

For one year, in 2003, Javier Vazquez and Livan Hernandez were the Montreal Expos' one and two, with the then-27-year-old Vazquez, a 5th Round Expos' pick in the '94 Draft, winning 13 of 34 starts and striking out 241 batters (9.4 K/9) in 230.2 IP, while Hernandez, who'd go on to become the Washington Nationals' first ace, was able to win 15 of 33 starts in '03, throwing a team-high 233.1 IP over which the then-28-year-old Cuban-born legend posted a career-low 3.20 ERA with a career high 141 ERA+, while throwing 8 complete games and recording 178 K's (6.9 K/9), which were also a career high...That winter, 5 years after he debuted with Montreal, Javier Vazquez was dealt to the New York Yankees in a trade that brought reliever Randy Choate, outfielder Juan Rivera and first baseman Nick Johnson to the Expos. Vazquez would pitch just one year in NY, earning an All-Star appearance with a (10-5) first half in which he struck out 95 in 118.2 IP, posting a 1.15 WHIP before a disappointing second-half which culminated in Vazquez surrendering a huge grand slam in the Yankees' NLCS Game 7 collapse against the Boston Red Sox...

Six seasons later, Vazquez is back in pinstripes, having pitched for Arizona, Chicago (AL) and Atlanta before returning to NY this winter in a deal between the Yankees and Braves, while Livan is back in camp with the Washington Nationals, battling for one of the final two spots in DC's rotation. Hernandez was traded to Arizona back in 2006, but ended up returning to DC as a free agent this winter after having played out the end of the '09 campaign with the Nats when he was released by the Mets. Tonight, in Tampa's Steinbrenner Field, the two former Expos' aces meet on the mound as the Yanks and Nats square off in a 7:05 pm EST affair that will be broadcast live in DC  on MASN...(and hopefully on MLB.tv?)

BACKPAGE: 

• The DC Starting Lineup? After The Jump...

• Who's Watching The Nationals?

• Mr. Wilbon? Way To Go Nats!!!

BACKPAGE: 

• The DC Starting Lineup? After The Jump...

  1. Roger Bernadina - CF
  2. The Guzzzzz - SS
  3. Thrillie Harris - 3B
  4. Josh Whitesell - Dunn's Spot
  5. Justin Maxwell - CF
  6. Adam Kennedy - 2B
  7. Ian Desmond - DH
  8. Wil "Blocker" Nieves - C
  9. Willy Taveras - RF
  10. Livan "Mr. National Himself" Hernandez - SP

• Who's Watching The Nationals?

• Mr. Wilbon? Way To Go Nats!!! 

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