Washington Nationals' All-Star History Starts With Livan Hernandez.

Livan Hernandez was this franchise's All-Star Rep in back-to-back seasons in '04 and '05, first for the Montreal Expos and then for the Washington Nationals (alongside closer Chad Cordero) in the Nats' Inaugural season in D.C. in 2005. A then-30-year-old Hernandez was (12-3) in 19 starts, with a 3.48 ERA and 78 K's (5.23 K/9) in 134.1 innings pitched when the "first-half" ended. The Nationals were 52-36 at the All-Star Break in '05, having dropped back-to-back games on the road in Philadelphia after losing three of four to the New York Mets at home in RFK. The Nationals that sent two pitchers to Detroit that year were in first place in the NL East, 2.5 games ahead of the Atlanta Braves when baseball broke for the Mid-Summer Classic.

Hernandez was the first Washington National to make an appearance in an All-Star Game when the right-hander took the mound in Comerica Park on July 12, 2005, with the National League trailing 3-0 on a HR and an RBI ground by Orioles' shortstop Miguel Tejada off right-handers John Smoltz (of the Braves) and Roy Oswalt (then an Astro), respectively, with Tejada's second run-scoring hit coming after Red Sox' David Ortiz hit an RBI single off Oswalt in the top of the third. It took just two pitches for Livan Hernandez to record the first All-Star out ever by a Washington National.

Hernandez popped the Rangers' Mark Teixeira up with an 0-1 pitch and then proceeded to walk Red Sox' catcher Jason Varitek in front of Baltimore's Brian Roberts, who hit the first pitch he saw for a line drive ground-rule double that put two runners on in front of the Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro's two-run single off Livan put the American League ahead 5-0 in a game they'd eventually win 7-5. Livan threw 16 pitches, 9 strikes, to five batters, surrendering two hits, a walk and two runs...but at least he picked Ichiro off first to end the inning that night. 

After the game, Livan Hernandez told MLB.com's Bill Ladson, as quoted in an article entitled, "Cordero, Hernandez relish All-Star experience", that he understood what it meant to play in an All-Star Game. "'There are a lot of surprises in baseball,'" Hernandez said, "'Being an All-Star is something special and you need to enjoy it because you don't know when you will come back again.'" Hernandez has not been back to the All-Star Game since. But after he was traded in '06, he returned to the Nationals in late 2009, and Washington's first All-Star has been with the Nats since. 

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