If you are a Washington Nationals fan, you have to appreciate the pitching performance Livan Hernandez put on for the New York Mets against your team Tuesday night at Citi Field, a 6-1 complete game masterpiece.
It conjured up some of the good times of that inaugural 2005 season for the Nationals at RFK, when Livan was often fun to watch when he took the mound for Washington and won 15 games. It was a warm and fuzzy memory.
Livan was fun to watch again Tuesday night, even if he was beating your team — using so many different speeds with pitches that looked like you could jump out of the stands and hit.
The man knows how to pitch. It was a clinic, and his 46th career complete game — a statistic for dinosaurs in this bullpen-crazy era.
If you are a Nationals fan, you also have to appreciate how Adam Dunn has discovered left field.
His two hits — including a solo home run — Tuesday night were both to the opposite field, career hits 1,000 and 1,001. And the grand slam he hit on Sunday against the Pirates was also an opposite field shot.
If this guy keeps hitting the ball that way, he may wind up with 50 home runs — or, likely, more home runs than Nationals wins.
The count and the amount right now is — Dunn, 15 home runs; Nationals, 13 wins.
And if you are a Nationals fan, you have to appreciate the news that followed the game, when acting general manager Mike Rizzo announced they had cut their ties with Daniel Cabrera, designating him for assignment. Rizzo like spoke for all Nationals fans when he said about Cabrera’s performance in a Washington uniform, “I was tired of watching it.”
Cabrera, the former Oriole, went 0-5 with a 5.85 ERA in nine appearances. He was demote to the bullpen last week and had just one relief appearance on Monday night in New York, giving up three walks in just two-thirds of an inning. And he had been balking at his new bullpen assignment, becoming a disruptive force — as if the team needed an excuse to get rid of him.
No one should have to hold any bake sales for Cabrera, who was signed by franchise wrecker Jim Bowden to a $2.6 million contract this winter. However, one former Oriole teammate once said of Cabrera, “He may be the only player in history that BAT (Baseball Assistance Team, the organization that helps retired players in financial trouble) has to help while he is playing.”
And if you are a Nationals fan, and are looking forward to the team having the first pick in the upcoming 2009 amateur draft, you will probably have a chance to do it again in 2010, as your team is well on its way to locking up that first pick again.
But, if you are a Nationals fan, all that good news disappeared when you heard a report when you woke up this morning that a steroids dealer arrested in Florida claims he supplied steroids to players from the Washington Capitals and Washington Nationals.
You can’t even dress up futility as good news without bad news surrounding this team crushing it.
I will be on The Sports Reporters on ESPN 980 AM Washington on Thursday, May 28, from 5 to 7 p.m.
To learn more about Thom Loverro, go to www.thomloverro.com