Results tagged ‘ Livan Hernandez ’

Livo reaches milestone, wants to stay with Nationals

Nationals right-hander Livan Hernandez was one of the heroes in a 9-2 victory over the Braves at Turner Field on Tuesday night.

Hernandez lasted seven innings and allowed two runs on five hits. He also became the 12th pitcher in baseball history to throw 50,000 pitches in his career. That pitch — a curveball — came in the bottom of second inning, when he induced right-hander Jair Jurrjens to ground out to end the second inning.

Hernandez didn’t about know about reaching the milestone until Nationals clubhouse manager Mike Wallace informed him before the game.

“I thank God everyday for giving me a chance to throw all of my career. It’s nice,” Hernandez said. “It’s hard to stay healthy every five days. … I’m the type of guy that tries to take care of himself every fifth day. Sometimes, it’s hard to pitch when it’s hot or cold.

“Sometimes, the weather is bad. You have to see everything that happens around you. It’s not easy to throw 50,000 pitches. I told the young guys, when you get here, you try to stay here. You don’t try to stay here for a couple of years and go somewhere else. You want to stay in this level. It’s easy to make it, but it’s not easy to be consistent every five days.”

Hernandez is a free agent after this season and he made it known that he wants to stay with the Nationals. Knowing that the team plans to have a young rotation that includes Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann next year, Hernandez told general manager Mike Rizzo that he is willing to become a long reliever with the club. Hernandez wants to start working on his new role this offseason.

“Hopefully something good happens. I [hope to get a chance] and try to be a long reliever and see. I made the decision that day with [pitching coach Steve McCatty]. I told Cat the other day that I can do that. Let’s see what happens.

“I love to stay here. It’s not about the money because I know I can make more money. It’s about, I enjoy every day that I am here. I enjoy playing baseball here. It’s where you feel comfortable. I lived before with no money. This is where you feel good.”

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman made it known that Hernandez is a unique individual who loves to play in Washington.

“He understands the game. He understands hitters He is not afraid to throw any pitch at any count,” Zimmerman said. “He never gives in. Those are the toughest pitchers to face because you really don’t know what they are going to throw you at anytime. Just his ability to keep the hitter guessing is what makes Livo such as success.

“He enjoys the people here. So it’s fun to play with him, it’s fun to play behind him. He is one of those guys where every fifth day, he is ready to go. He is going to do everything he can to help the team win.”

Livo throws plenty of pitches on rainy night

Right-hander Livan Hernandez did the unthinkable on Friday night during the Nationals’ 8-4 victory over the Phillies. He threw over 300 pitches and most of them didn’t come during game.

Before the game started, Hernandez threw 85 pitches in the bullpen. He then went on the mound and threw nine pitches against Philadelphia before the game was delayed for two hours and 22 minutes because of rain. During the delay, Hernandez went in the batting cage and threw close to 180 pitches.

After the game resumed, Hernandez went back on the mound and pitched four innings, allowing four runs on seven hits. He threw 59 pitches in the game. The four runs were scored in the third inning.

“The most important thing is that I feel good,” Hernandez said. “If I don’t feel good, I would go and tell Cat [pitching coach Steve McCatty] and [manager Davey] Johnson. During the [rain delay] I warmed up in the cage every 15 minutes and was ready for the game.

“It’s crazy, but I feel really good. I wanted to be there. Johnson talked to me after the four runs. The Phillies had a good plan after they had their first at-bat. They started hitting the slider. After that, Johnson told me, ‘That’s it. Your done.’ I said, “Let me go back. I feel really good. We talked and we have good communication. I said, ‘Hey, I’m not going to lie to you. I feel good and they gave me a chance.”

After Hernandez left the game, Washington’s relievers — Tom Gorzelanny, Sean Burnett and Todd Coffey — blanked Philadelphia the next five innings and allowed one hit.

“I see these guys do a great job for the bullpen. One hit. It’s great. Gorzelanny, Burnett and Coffey. It’s amazing,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez happy to wear Expos cap

In honor of Andre Dawson, the Nationals wore Expos caps during batting practice on Tuesday. Of the current players on the Nationals’ 25-man roster, right-handers Livan Hernandez and Miguel Batista are the only players to have played for the Expos.

Hernandez said he was happy to wear the Expos cap — at least for a couple of hours.

“This organization came from Montreal and the Expos were there a long time,” Hernandez said. “It’s very nice that the organization does something for the Expos.”

Hernandez fined $500 for arguing balls and strikes

After Friday’s 4-2 victory over the Reds, Nationals right-hander Livan Hernandez told the Washington media that he was fined $500 earlier in the day for arguing Lance Berkman’s check swing, which occurred Tuesday against the Astros.

In the ninth inning, with the Nationals leading, 7-6, and two outs, the Nationals felt that closer Matt Capps struck Berkman out swinging on a 2-2 pitch, but third base umpire Bill Hohn said Berkman checked his swing. On the next pitch, Berkman singled to left field to drive in two runs and give the Astros an 8-7 victory.

Hernandez acknowledged that he argued the check-swing call in the dugout, but felt he should not have been fined.

“I said nothing. All I said was, it was a bad call and I get fined for 500 bucks,” Hernandez said. “I don’t think I’m going to pay for that because it was a bad call. [Berkman] swung. Everybody watched the video. The guy swung. The umpire made a mistake, not me. It’s not right. … Don’t fine me, fine the umpire. I didn’t make a mistake. We lost the game right there.”

Hohn was not available for comment. 

Riggleman names four pitchers for rotation [updated]

Nationals manager Jim Riggleman named four members of his rotation Monday. He said John Lannan, Jason Marquis, Craig Stammen and Livan Hernandez will be the four pitchers in that order. 

The order of the rotation was first reported by MLB.com on Sunday. 

Lannan will be the Opening Day starter against the Phillies on April 5 at Nationals Park. Marquis, Stammen and Hernandez will soon follow.

“I know they can pitch,” pitching coach Steve McCatty said. “We are not going to be the 96 mile an hour, jet blowing, No 1. Type starters who are 6-foot-6, but we have guys who sink the ball.

“When you have guys who can throw it up there and have some sink, throw strikes, mix in their off-speed pitches and compete, you know you have a good chance. Yes, I’m happy with [the rotation].”

Of the four starters named, Stammen and Hernandez appeared to be longs shots when Spring Training began. 

Stammen had bone ships removed from his right elbow last September and it appeared he would start the season in the bullpen or be sent down to the Minor Leagues. It turned out he was the second-best pitcher behind Stephen Strasburg. Stammen allowed five earned runs in 14 1/3 innings and struck out 10 batters.  

“The spring has gone well, so far,” Stammen said. “I came in healthy. My arm has felt really good the whole time. I had some success on the mound. Some of the hard work has paid off, but what you do in the spring doesn’t matter. All this stuff gets thrown out when the season starts. So I have to continue the success in April.”

Hernandez didn’t come into camp until late February and had to get into pitching shape. His first start wasn’t until March 14, but the late start didn’t hurt him as he allowed two earned runs in eight innings. 
      
“I feel really happy. I worked hard since I came to Spring Training,” Hernandez said. “I came to Spring Training knowing I could still pitch and help the team win.”                  
                  
The team must decide on who the fifth starter will be. Garrett Mock, Scott Olsen and J.D. Martin are competing for the final spot.

Not long ago, Mock was considered part of the rotation, but he has given up five runs in his last nine innings. That’s not including the disappointing outing last week against the Minor League Astros in which he gave up three home runs.

Olsen knew Sunday was his last chance to prove to the Nationals that he should be in the rotation. It turned out Olsen made the team’s decision even tougher in a 9-3 victory over the Braves. 

Olsen pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up one earned run on seven hits. He struck out four and walked none. It was Olsen’s best outing of the spring.

As for Martin, he gave up five runs in five innings against the Tigers last Thursday. The first inning was Martin’s only bad inning as he blanked Detroit in the next four frames.

The last time Martin pitched in a big-league game prior to that game was March 10 against the Cardinals. Rainouts and too many pitchers in camp were the reasons Martin didn’t see action until Thursday.

But it wasn’t like Martin was rusty. He pitched in simulated games and on the Minor League field.

Storen has solid outing; Livo may pitch next week

Nationals right-hander Drew Storen pitched a perfect inning against the Mets at Tradition Field on Sunday. He threw only 10 pitches and was able to get three groundball outs in the sixth inning.

Storen indicated that he wasn’t nervous like he was Thursday against the Astros. He pitched one solid frame in that game as well.

Overall, Storen has thrown 19 pitches this spring. The reason for the low pitch count is because he is pitching to contact, he said.

“I was trying to build off the last time,” Storen said. “I wasn’t as nervous. I was just trying to throw strikes.”
  
Storen is expected to pitch Tuesday against Tigers at Space Coast Stadium. It’s the same game in which teammate Stephen Strasburg will make his Spring Training debut.

“That would be awesome. It’s going to be an exciting atmosphere. It’s going to be tough not to get fired up for that game,” Storen said.
 
In other news, right-hander Livan Hernandez will pitch in a simulated game in a couple of days and then pitch in a Spring Training game sometime next week.

“We trying to work it in to make sure he is all right,’” pitching coach Steve McCatty said about Hernandez. “When he came down here, Livo was Livo [in terms of being in good shape], but he really didn’t throw off the mound. He played catch and now he is getting back into real pitching shape.” 

Livo, Martin arrive in camp

Two days after agreeing to terms on a Minor League deal, Nationals right-hander Livan Hernandez reported to camp Friday and had his first bullpen session since late last season.

Hernandez is considered insurance in case pitchers such as Chien-Ming Wang, Scott Olsen and Ross Detwiler are not able to come back from injuries.  

“Livo brings us an experienced guy who we know can give us innings,” general manager Mike Rizzo. “You know what you are dealing with. He is a good inventory guy for us. He is a veteran guy. You know he is going to give us innings. You know the type of pitcher he is going to be.”
 
Hernandez is coming off a season in which he went a combined 9-12 with a 5.44 ERA for the Mets and Nationals. Washington signed Hernandez as a free agent on Aug. 26, six days after New York released him.

On Friday, Hernandez sounded like a man who was pleased to return to the Nationals.
 
“I feel very happy that I’m back. The team did a great job putting a team together,” Hernandez said. “They have a chance to make the playoffs. They have a good team with power and pitching. It’s going to be really nice.”

* Right-hander Rafael Martin reported to Minor League camp Friday. He said a deal between  him and the Nationals was finalized on Feb.  8.
 
Martin, who is a native of Southern California, said he is big-league ready, but understands that he must prove himself in the United States.

“Personally, I think I am ready,” Martin said. “I pitch to a lot of big-league hitters in the Mexican Winter League. I played in the Caribbean Series. I think everything will be fine.”

Washington believes that Martin will be a seventh- or an eighth-inning setup man for future closer Drew Storen. Martin is expected to start the 2010 season with Triple-A Syracuse or Double-A Harrisburg. His fastball is clocked between 92-94 mph.

Martin is coming off a season in which he pitched in 54 games for Saraperos de Saltillo of the Mexican League, going 6-3 with a 4.12 ERA. Even more impressive is that he struck out 65 batters in 63 1/3 innings and held opponents to a .244 batting average.

* Josh Willingham was not at the full-squad workout because his wife gave birth to boy named Ryder Jon Willingham on Wednesday in Florence, Ala. Ryder came in at 22 inches and weighed eight pounds. It’s not known when Josh Willingham will return to the team. 

Nats do not offer arbitration to free agents

The Nationals did not offer arbitration to any of their free agents, which include catcher Josh Bard, right-hander Livan Hernandez, outfielder Austin Kearns, left-hander Ron Villone and first baseman Dmitri Young.

None of the players were Type A or B free agents — rankings are based on a player’s performance during the previous two seasons.

In the last two seasons, Young played in only 50 games because of illness and injury. His best season with the Nationals was in 2007 when hit .320 with 13 home runs and 74 RBIs, earning National League Comeback Player of the Year honors.

Villone is arguably the only Nationals free agent, who has a chance of coming back to the organization. Manager Jim Riggleman called the reliever a leader by example, because he wants to pitch on a regular basis and watches the game from the dugout after completing his work on the mound. Villone pitched in 63 games and had a 4.25 ERA.

“Ronnie sets a great example,” Riggleman said in August. “He takes the ball more than anybody. He is 39 years old, but he is willing to pitch every day, which I think says a lot. It indicates to some other pitchers that this guy has been around a long time.”  

Kearns was a great teammate and worked hard, but one could argue that he was the biggest disappointment in Nationals history when it came to his offense. He came to Washington with a lot of hype after then -general manager Jim Bowden acquired him from the Reds in July of 2006. 

The former GM predicted that Kearns would hit 40 home runs and drive in over 100 runs in a season, but that never happened. Kearns best season with the Nationals was in 2007, when he hit .266 with 16 home runs and 74 RBIs. A lot of baseball experts felt he was too vulnerable to inside pitches.

Injuries took a toll on Kearns during the next two seasons. He played only 86 games in 2008 because of elbow and foot problems.

This season was the worst season of his career, hitting .195 with three home runs and 17 RBIs.

Hernandez joined the Nationals as a free agent on Aug. 26 after the Mets released him six days earlier. His job was to give the Nationals innings and be a role model to the young pitching staff.  Hernandez pitched 48 2/3 innings and went 2-4 with a 5.36 ERA.

When catcher Jesus Flores missed most of the season with a right shoulder injury, Bard found himself in a platoon situation with Wil Nieves. Bard played in 90 games and hit .230 with two home runs and 31 RBIs.                      

Nationals sign Livan Hernandez

The Nationals have signed right-hander Livan Hernandez to a Major League contract on Tuesday night. The news comes six days after the Mets gave him his unconditional release.

Hernandez, who went 7-8 with a 5.47 ERA for New York, will be in the rotation for Washington and teach the young starting pitchers on how to do things on the mound.

This will be Hernandez’s second stint with the Nationals/Expos. He played for the organization from 2003 to the middle of the 2006 season, when he was traded to the D-Backs for right-hander Garrett Mock and left-hander Matt Chico.

Hernandez’s best season with the organization was in 2003 when he was 15-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Montreal. He also led the National League in innings pitch from 2003-05 and represented the organization  in 2004 and ’05.  

Hernandez, 34, has played 14 years in the big leagues, going 154-147 with a 4.43 ERA with the Marlins, Giants, Expos, Nationals, D-Backs and Mets. 

It’s not known will be taken off the 25-man roster, when Hernandez joins the team on Wednesday.

There is more to come on Nationals.com 

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