Livan Hernandez, who was cut by the NY Mets last August. Livan Hernandez, who finished the '09 season back with the Nats, then talked to the Nationals at the Winter Meetings early last December, and months later was quoted by reporters in Washington wondering why his calls weren't being returned by the Nats' GM. Livan Hernandez, who waited until February 24th before finally signing in DC. Livan Hernandez, who proceeded to shut out the first two teams he faced this season, throwing 17.2 scoreless IP before surrendering a run. Livan Hernandez, 35-years-old, who lost to Rockies' right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez in a pitcher's duel the last time out. Livan Hernandez bounced back against Chicago tonight with 7.0 innings on the mound, 6 hits, 1 walk and 1 ER allowed in earning his third win in four starts so far this season. Livan Hernandez improved to (3-1) with a 3-1 win over the Cubs, which left the 15-year-veteran with an 0.87 ERA, and 19 H, 3 ER and 8 walks allowed over 31.0 IP in which he's now struck out 10 while holding opponents to a .176 AVG...Livan Hernandez kept the Cubs off-balance all night in Wrigley, allowing runners on in five of the seven innings he pitched, but giving up a run only when Cristian Guzman threw one away on a potential inning-ending double play. Livan Hernandez did it again...
• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...
• Nats win, 3-1 final.
• Livan On Livan.
• Ian Desmond Does It All.
• Clippard And Capps.
• Full Game Report, You Know, For The Completists.
• Livan On Livan.
MLB.com's Bill Ladson's post game article entitled, "Livan helps Nats even series with Cubs", on the Nats' win over Chicago Tuesday night, has quotes from DC GM Mike Rizzo and the Cubs' first baseman Derrek Lee, who both talk about Livan Hernandez, but it's the quotes from Hernandez himself, who's described as being "emotional" by Mr. Ladson after another well-pitched win, that provide an understanding of the veteran right-hander's motivation this season:
"I want to show the people that I'm not done. I want to play because I love this game. I do everything they asked me to do. I pitch every five days; I haven't missed a start for 14 years. People think it's easy. It's not easy. No matter what happens, no matter how you feel, I'm always there."
Livan Hernandez has always been there for this franchise. From the time he was traded to Montreal from San Francisco in March of 2003, through 2006 when he reluctantly departed the nation's capital following a trade to Arizona. Just can't help but wondering if he continues to pitch this well, whether or not he'll remain with the Nationals or find himself once again getting traded this year...
• Ian Desmond Does It All.
Batting second behind Nyjer Morgan last night and starting at short, the Nats' 24-year-old infielder Ian Desmond went 2 for 4 with a run scored and 2 RBI's, figuring in each of the three runs Washington put up in the 3-1 win over Chicago. Desmond singled in Morgan in the first, after the Nationals' leadoff hitter tripled off Cubs' starter Tom Gorzelanny to start Tuesday's game, and the rookie SS scored when Cristian Guzman, batting third, connected on the second triple of the first for a 2-0 Washington lead. In the field, Desmond made a spectacular diving play and glove flip to second on a DP attempt that failed in spite of his efforts. In the eighth, Nyjer Morgan reached first on an error by Chicago reliever John Grabow, and Desmond singled Morgan in from second (after a stolen base) to give the Nats' bullpen a two-run lead to work with. Throw in two stolen bases, and Ian Desmond may have played his best game.
• Clippard And Capps.
After Livan was done, Nats' reliever Tyler Clippard was once again called upon for an inning of work in which he allowed a walk to the first batter he faced, after Hernandez gave up a leadoff single to start the frame, but then popped up Derrek Lee with a 2-1 fastball, got a groundout from Marlon Byrd with a 3-1 change and a weak grounder to first from Aramis Ramirez, with a slider that was clocked at 87 mph. Clippard throws 19 pitches, 9 for strikes, and completes his 10th appearance with 6 BB and 19 K's in 15.2 IP over which he's posted a 0.57 ERA.
Matt Capps' appearance tonight in the bottom of the ninth in Wrigley got a little "interesting" when he gave up a two-out single to Geovany Soto to bring the tying run to the plate, but the Nats' closer finally got Cubs' rookie Tyler Colvin to chase a fastball upstairs (8 pitches in) as he locked down the Nationals' 11th win and converted his 9th save in 9 tries.
FULL GAME REPORT:
1 - Nyjer Morgan starts the game with a line drive to left center and off the ivy for a leadoff triple off Cubs' lefty Tom Gorzelanny. Gorzelanny gives up a single to Ian Desmond, and Kosuke Fukudome doesn't even think of throwing home, Morgan scores. 1-0 Nats. Desmond steals second. Cristian Guzman lines a single over Marlon Byrd's head in center, and he has the second triple of the first off the Cubbies' lefty. Desmond scores, 2-0 Nats. Adam Dunn K. Guzman still on third. Josh Willingham flies to short right, and Pudge Rodriguez will have to knock Guzman in with two down. Pudge grounds back to the mound...Livan Hernandez gets a groundout to short from Ryan Theriot. Ian Desmond dives for a grounder up the middle from Kosuke Fukudome off Livan's mitt. Infield single. Derrek Lee loses his bat one fastball's so slow, and then he lines toward third and gets robbed by The General!! Alberto Gonzalez with the Zim-like dive and catch. Marlon Byrd K's swinging.
2 - Justin Maxwell pops one up for Mike Fontenot at second. Alberto Gonzalez grounds deep into the hole at short and beats Ryan Theriot's ill-advised throw. Livan Hernandez tries to get a bunt down, but grounds into an inning-ending DP after going to two strikes...Aramis Ramirez lines to deep center, Morgan has it on the track. Alfonso Soriano goes the other way with a line drive single to right center. One on, one out. Mike Fontenot singles to center, and Soriano takes third on Nyjer Morgan's arm. Geovany Soto grounds to third, Alberto to Guzman at second and he throws wide of first, one out recorded, one run in, Soto to second, 2-1 Nats. Guzman throws out the pitcher on a weak grounder. 2-1 Nats after two.
3 - Nyjer Morgan leads off again in the third. Morgan grounds to Fontenot at second. Ian Desmond lines out to right on the first pitch he sees, and Cristian Guzman flies out to Byrd in center. 2-1 Nats in the third...Justin Maxwell just waits for a line drive out from The Riot. Livan walks Fukudome. Derrek Lee grounds to short, Desmond dives, glove flips to Guzman, who throws to first, too late. Justin Maxwell tracks Byrd's fly ball to the corner in right and makes the grab. 2-1 Nats after three.
4 - Adam Dunn K's chasing a two-strike curve from Gorzelanny across the zone. Josh Willingham lines to right field for Fukudome. Two down. Pudge Rodriguez lines a single to left. Pudge!! Justin Maxwell draws a two-out walk, but Alberto Gonzalez's groundout ends the Nats' fourth...Aramis Ramirez pops out to Adam Dunn at first. Alfonso Soriano grounds out to Desmond at short. Mike Fontenot flies to center. Nats 2-1 after four.
5 - Livan Hernandez flies out to Marlon Byrd in center. Nyjer Morgan K's swinging for out no. 2. Ian Desmond squares to bunt at the first pitch, and lines the second Gorzelanny pitch to first, D. Lee snags it...Geovany Soto singles to start the Cubs' fifth, and Gorzelanny's sac bunt moves the catcher to second. Ryan Theriot lines out to Nyjer Morgan in center and Fukudome grounds back to the mound. 2-1 Nats after five.
6 - Cristian Guzman flies to right, Adam Dunn to center, and back to right from the Hammer, Livan's back on the mound...Derrek Lee lines to left, but Willingham gets there, just gets there, stretching to grab it. Marlon Byrd grounds to second, but Aramis Ramirez hits a one-out single to center to extend the Cubs' sixth, for Alfonso Soriano, who grounds into a force at second to end the inning with the Nats still ahead 2-1.
7 - Ivan Rodriguez flies out to center. J-Max take a one-out walk on four pitches, but gets thrown out trying to steal second. Gonzalez grounds to short, Theriot's throw is wide, but D. Lee makes the tag...Mike Fontenot flies out to center for Nyjer Morgan, one down. Geovany Soto flies to center, and Livan gets a grounder to third from Xavier Nady to end the inning with the Nats still up 2-1.
8 - Livan Hernandez grounds out to Fontenot at second. Nyjer Morgan reaches on a throwing error by John Grabow on a weak grounder toward third. Morgan takes second easily and scores when Ian Desmond lines a single to center for a 3-1 lead. Cristian Guzman K's looking, so Desmond steals second to advance himself, but Adam Dunn's groundout ends the Nats' eighth...Ryan Theriot starts the Cubbies' eighth with a line drive single to right that Maxwell cuts off. Fukudome will face Tyler Clippard. Livan's line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 99 pitches, 62 strikes, 10 groundouts, 9 flyouts. Clippard battles Fukudome, but ends up issuing a walk to put two on in front of the dangerous D. Lee. Clippard pops Lee up for the first out. Marlon Byrd grounds to second, Adam Kennedy throws to first. Aramis Ramirez grounds out to Dunn. 3-1 DC after eight.
9 - Justin Berg on for the Cubs in the ninth. Josh Willingham walks. Pudge K's swinging and Hammer's pinch runner, Willy Taveras, gets nailed stealing second. Justin Maxwell flies to right and Fukudome makes a great grab going back...Matt Capps vs Soriano to start the Cubs' ninth. Swinging K! One Down. Geovany Soto vs Capps. Soto lines to right for a two-out single. Tyler Colvin up. Soto takes second without a throw. Colvin battles Capps, but eventually chases a fastball up the ladder for a swinging strike three and Capps' ninth save!! Nats win 3-1.
Nationals now 11-10.