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Washington Nationals' Livan Hernandez Throws Complete Game Shutout, Nats 8-0 Over Milwaukee Brewers.

QUICK GAME REPORT: The first sign of trouble for Livan Hernandez this season came in the second when the 35-year-old veteran right-hander walked the bases loaded in front of the Brewers' pitcher Randy Wolf, but it seems Mr. National Himself had a plan, and Wolf played right into his hands, grounding back to the mound for the quick 1-2-3 DP to complete Hernandez's ninth scoreless frame to start the twenty-ten campaign. Hernandez got all the support he'd need in the bottom of the inning when Pudge Rodriguez singled Josh Willingham in from second after a leadoff walk and a sac bunt by Ian Desmond moved the Hammer into scoring position, and Justin Maxwell followed with a bomb to straight-center on a 3-1 fastball from Wolf that made it 3-0 Nationals after two. 

Ryan Zimmerman doubled to left to score Cristian Guzman from second in the fifth after Guzman hit a two-out single and stole second without a throw. Todd Coffey replaced Wolf to start the fifth and surrendered three straight hits to start the frame, the third of which was Pudge Rodriguez's two-run double to center, and the Nats get a sac fly from Maxwell for his third RBI and a 7-0 lead after six. Zimmerman doubles Guzman in again in the seventh, and Livan's up 8-0 with six outs to go. An error by Cristian Guzman to start the seventh put Jody Gerut on to start the frame and threatenend Livan's streak which had by then grown to 14.0 scoreless to start the season, but a force on a groundout by Rickie Weeks and two fly ball outs to right later, Livan had 15.0 straight, with only one to go for his first complete game shutout since July 30, 2004, when the then-29-year-old Montreal Expos' right-hander held the Florida Marlins scoreless over 9.0 IP in Pro Player Stadium...Would Livan Do It? (cont.)...

• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...

BACKPAGE:

• The Shocking Conclusion...

• Full Game Report. For The Completists.

• Jim Riggleman Post Game Quotes.

BACKPAGE:

• The Shocking Conclusion...After Justin Maxwell flew out to start the Nats' eighth, Livan stepped to the plate to a loud show of appreciation from the DC Faithful who knew he'd get a shot at the complete game shutout, and Hernandez didn't disappoint. Prince Fielder's first-pitch swinging, and he grounds out to Guzman at second. Casey McGehee rips a 1-0 fastball to third, but Ryan Zimmerman's there to knock it down before jumping up and firing a throw to first to beat the runner by a step. Two down. The crowd of 18,673 rises as one, and Jim Edmonds' groundout ends Hernandez's sixteenth scoreless frame to start the season. Nationals win, 8-0 final. 

Nationals now 6-5.

(ed. note - "And over .500 for the first time since...one moment please...one moment please...one moment please...for the first time since April 4th 2008.

Livan's Line: 9.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K's, 112 pitches, 66 for strikes, 14 groundouts, 2 flyouts, CG no. 47, CG/SO no. 7 in 15 seasons. 

• Game Notes: 

-- Livan Hernandez, 35. Pudge Rodriguez, 38. Washington Nationals 6-5, and a lot of it has to do with the two veteran additions to the Nats' roster. 

-- Justin Maxwell goes 1 for 3 with his 1st HR of 2010 and 3 RBI's. Someone must have finally gotten the message through to J-Max that right field in DC is there for the taking. (Sorry, Willie Harris. But I think you're a great 4th OF!!

-- Ryan Zimmerman's return to the starting lineup sees him go 2 for 3 with a double (4), a walk and 2 RBI's. Not to mention a Gold-Glove-caliber stop on a sharp grounder in the ninth that helped Livan finish the game. 

-- Ian Desmond, 2 for 3. Cristian Guzman 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored, Pudge 2 for 4 with 3 RBI's. Break up the Nats!!!

FULL GAME REPORT: 

1 - Livan Hernandez starts the day with a backwards K, as he gets Brewers' leadoff man Rickie Weeks looking, then he fields a grounder from Craig Counsell at the mound, steps and throws to first, two down. Ryan Braun rips a single up the middle not even Ian Desmond can get to, but Livan works his slow magic on Prince Fielder, and gets a towering pop fly to left that Josh Willingham gets under...Nyjer Morgan flies to left center, one down in the Nationals' first. The Guzzzz lines sharply to third and right into McGehee's glove. Ryan Zimmerman works the count full and takes a two-out walk. Adam Dunn grounds to second, right behind there in short right, Rickie Weeks makes the play, the dramatic shift works again...

2 - Livan vs Casey McGehee to start the second. Full-count curve, K no.2. Jim Edmonds knows what to expect from Livan and he launches a gapper to right center no one can get to. Corey Hart gets to walk to first on a six-pitch free pass, and then Livan walks Brewers' catcher George Kottaras to load them up for the pitcher. Randy Wolf grounds back to the mound, Livan to Pudge Rodriguez to Dunn, double play...Josh Willingham starts the Nats' second with a walk. Ian Desmond tries to bunt for a hit but settles for a sac and it pays off when Pudge lifts a liner over short and just off Craig Counsell's glove into left. RBI single, 1-0 Nats. Justin Maxwell gets a 3-1 pitch from Wolf that he likes and drives it deeeeeep to center field and GONE!! 3-0 Nats. Livan flies out to right. Nyjer Morgan works a two-out walk, but Cristian Guzman goes down swinging at a 2-2 curve, 3-0 Nats after two. 

3 - Rickie Weeks sends the first out to left, Josh Willingham has it. Adam Dunn react quickly to scoop up a sharp low liner from Counsell and make the play at first. Two down. Livan pops Ryan Braun up and he's got a quick scoreless third...Ryan Zimmerman takes Wolf to another full count, but K's swinging through an 85 mph fastball. Adam Dunn reaches the track in left where Corey Hart makes the catch. Josh Willingham flies out to Braun in right, 3-0 Nats after three innings.

4 - Livan vs Prince to start the fourth. Casey McGehee finds the small patch of grass between Morgan and Maxwell in right center that they can't reach and hits an 0-2 pitch to right for a one-out double. Livan gets a fly ball to left from Jim Edmonds and a groundout to Desmond from Corey Hart, and Mr. National Himself has 11.0 scoreless to start the season...Ian Desmond grounds to short. Prince Fielder dives and stabs a sharp grounder from Pudge. Justin Maxwell K's chasing a two-strike bender from Wolf and it's 3-0 Nats after four innings. 

5 - Livan pops Milwaukee backstop George Kottaras up over third. One down. Livan gives up a single to the opposing pitcher, who lines to center in front of Weeks. Rickie Weeks flies out to Maxwell in right. Two down for Livan. Craig Counsell rips one up the middle, Desmond fields behind second and steps on the bag. 12.0 scoreless for Mr. National Himself...Livan leads off the Nats' fifth with a pop up to Prince Fielder. Nyjer Morgan K's swinging through a 1-2 fastball. Crisitian Guzman singles to center to get Zimmerman up to bat. Guzman steals second to get himself into scoring position. Zimmerman lines a full-count curve to left and it falls in fair, Guzman scores, Zimmerman in at second, 4-0 Nationals. Adam Dunn grounds to first, Fielder has it, 4-0 Nats after five. 

6 - Ryan Braun gets a weak grounder past Livan on the mound, but Zimmerman swoops in, fields and throws to first, in time!! One down. Livan rings up Fielder, getting the slugger looking with a fastball for a called strike three. Casey McGehee flies to right, but Maxwell has this one, 13.0 scoreless for Livan...Josh Willingham doubles to right and off the out-of-town scoreboard to start the Nats' sixth. Ian Desmond pops up to short right, Rickie Weeks tries to track it down, but has it bounce off his glove, Hammer to third. Pudge Rodriguez rips a liner to right center, two runs score, and Pudge takes third on an errant throw in. 6-0 Nationals. 6-0 Nationals. Justin Maxwell lifts a fly to center, Pudge scores from third, 7-0 Nationals. Nyjer Morgan slices the final out of the frame to left. 

7 - Back to back groundouts to start the seventh. Edmonds to second, Corey Hart to short. Livan Hernandez gets a groundball from Brewers' catcher George Kottaras, and it's seven shutout innings for Mr. National Himself...Cristian Guzman leads off the home-half of the seventh against Brewers' lefty Chris Narveson. Ryan Zimmerman tears into a fastball from Narveson and lines it over Edmond's head in center, off the wall, Guzman scores, 8-0 Nats. Adam Dunn flies out to center unproductively. Josh Willingham walks with one down, and Ian Desmond singles to center to load them up for Pudge. DP grounder, 8-0 Nats after seven. 

8 - Jody Gerut get a pinch hit chance against Livan. Ground ball to second, Guzman muffs it, E 4. Gerut on first in front of Weeks. Weeks grounds to second, Desmond to Guzman to first, too late to get Weeks. One down. Craig Counsell flies out to Maxwell in right. Weeks takes second without a throw. Ryan Braun lifts one to right, Justin Maxwell tracks it, and makes the grab...Justin Maxwell flies out to right field. Livan slices a groundout to second. Nyjer Morgan rolls the final out of the eighth to short. 8-0 Nationals. 

9 - Prince Fielder grounds out to second. Casey McGehee rips a sharp grounder to third, Zimmerman dives, knocks it down, jumps up and throws to first, in time!!!! Two down. Edmonds grounds to second. COMPLETE GAME SHUTOUT!!! 

• Jim Riggleman Post Game Quotes.

On Livan? 

Jim Riggleman: "You know he's just...he's a pitcher. He just kind of exemplifies what we're trying to do in terms of our pitching staff. We know we're not a strikeout staff, I'm not sure how many he had today, maybe a couple, but just throw strikes, put the ball in play, and let the defense work, and he just has no fear, he throws all of his pitches any time, throws strikes, and fields his position, does everything you want from a pitcher and he's just got a good loose arm, he's always ready to pitch and he's had two great outings so far." 

Did you think Livan still had this in him?

Jim Riggleman: "...He's one of those guys that because he throws a lot of strikes and the ball's gonna be in play, if you're making plays out there, you can't say anything couldn't happen because he keeps hitters off-balance, he gets the ball just a little bit off the barrel, sometimes he gets it in toward the handle, but a lot of times it's on the end of the bat and the ball just doesn't quite carry as much as it would on somebody else and you can make a play on them, so...A shutout in today's world is almost non-existent, nobody throws them anymore, so I wouldn't put it on him in terms of where he's at in his career."