How often did we sit back and watch Livan Hernandez pitch 9 innings while scattering nine hits on well over 120 pitches to complete the unorthodox complete game.
What was one more time?
This was the case Tuesday night as the Nats fell to their one-time ace, now pitching for the Mets, 6-1. Hernandez lobbed 127 pitches en route to his fourth victory of the year, proving that a true junk-baller never ages.
Of the nine hits the Nationals managed to muster against the old righty were Josh Bard and Cristian Guzman doubles and an Adam Dunn homer. But while Hernandez threw junk all day long, he did throw strikes, only allowing one Washington walk.
Tuesday’s game also saw career start the second for rookie Craig Stammen. Despite earning his first decisions, a loss, Stammen posted a quality start for the second straight game. Tuesday the 25-year-old pitched five innings, scattering seven hits, allowing three earned runs. He walked two and struck out two. His first career start, he pitched 6.1 innings, allowed four hits, four earned runs, struck out three and walked only one.
As Stammen is 25, this is the type of development we should expect for someone in his age group. While its rare for a ball player not to get their first taste of the majors until the age of 25, he is a college pitcher (from Dayton) so he is probably arriving just about on time. Because of his age however, if he doesn’t continue to adjust at the rate he currently is, he may be given up on before long.
Garry Sheffield wants you to know: He’s not finished
Garry Sheffield entered the 2009 season expecting to be the starting designated hitter for the Detroit Tigers. He had a $14 million, a hall of fame career, and was one homer shy of reaching the illusive 500 record club.
Then, as if out of nowhere, the Tigers dropped Sheffield the day before the season, eating his $14 million just to get him off the team. The reason wasn’t clear, the Tigers simply said they wanted to have ‘more diversity at the DH position.’ Some obviously speculated that the Tigers, as well as others in the league thought the 40-year-old former star was done. In 2008 he had only batted .225/.326/.400.
So far this year after being picked up by the Mets, he has proven that he’s anything but finished. The 40 year old is batting .291/.430/.535 while platoonning in the outfield. He earned his 500th homer in his first at bat of the 2009 season, and has hit four more in only 86 at bats this year. He has walked more times than he has struck out, and is providing a pop to this line up that the Mets need in this injury filled time.