GAME 66 REVIEW: Blip on the Radar, or the Real Livan?

Posted by Dave Nichols | Wednesday, June 16, 2010 | , , , | 1 comments »

"I gave him too much rope there.  We had it down to two runs, and I was hoping he could get through that inning, and we could score some more and get him a win, or at least a no-decision. It didn't pay off." --Manager Jim Riggleman, on the decision to allow Livan Hernandez to pitch into the seventh inning.

THE RESULT:  It was another bad day on the hill for the Washington Nationals, as starter Livan Hernandez had his roughest outing of the season, giving up eight earned runs on seven hits and six walks, as the Nats fell to the Detroit Tigers, 8-3, before 24,767 at Comerica Park in Detroit.

The loss drops the Nats four games below .500, at 31-35.

Adam Dunn staked the veteran to a 1-0 lead with a solo shot to center (15) in the first inning.  Hernandez breezed through the bottom of the frame, retiring the side on six pitches.  Roger Bernadina got into the act in the second, pulling a no-doubt-about-it bomb down the line for his fourth home run of the season, giving the Nats a 2-0 lead through two.

It was all downhill from there.

The bottom of the second saw Hernandez (L, 5-4, 2.94) walk three and give up two hits, leading to four runs.  Three times in the frame Hernandez started a batter off 0-2, only to see that batter reach base.  He seemed to abandon his fastball in favor of the slider, only to his detriment.

Detroit added a single run in the third, and three in the seventh, a three-run home run by Brennan Boesch.  The Tigers left fielder finished the day 3-for-4 with four RBIs.

Hernandez allowed more earned runs in a start than any National this year as his ERA rose from 2.28 to 2.94.

Justin Verlander (W, 8-4, 3.54), the Tigers starter, really settled down after allowing two solo homers in the first two innings.  He went eight innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits.  He did not allow a walk and struck out 11 Nats hitters, including center fielder Nyjer Morgan three times.

THE GOOD:  Other than the solo home runs, Ivan Rodriguez went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Mike Morse continued his hot streak, going 2-for-3.

THE BAD:  Hernandez.  Six walks, three in one inning.  13 base runners in 6 2/3 innings.  There have been some chinks in Livo's armor the last couple of starts, but Wednesday's performance was brutal.  The Nationals hope this appearance is an abberation, not a return to his troubles of the last two seasons, when he compiled ERA's of 5.44 and 6.05. 

THE UGLY:  Willie Harris started in left field, giving Josh Willingham a day off, despite the team having an off day on Monday. He went 0-for-3, lowering his average to .158. Harris has two hits in his last 25 plate appearances (.091).

NEXT GAME:  Thursday matinee against the Tigers at 1:05 pm.  The Nats try to avoid the sweep, sending Luis Atilano (5-3, 4.34) against Jeremy Bonderman (2-4, 4.21).


  1. Kevin Trainor // June 17, 2010 at 7:15 AM  

    Linked at Beltway Baseball.