- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
- CIA admits $3 billion intelligence operation was a flop
Hernandez stifles former team as Mets win
NEW YORK | Livan Hernandez has started 388 more games, earned 151 more wins and pitched his way out of more jams at the major league level than Craig Stammen can ever dream of escaping himself.
If Stammen can produce even half the career Hernandez has fashioned over the last 13 years, the young Washington Nationals right-hander will have made a good living.
Right now though, the bright-eyed rookie can’t match up with the sage old veteran, who proved he’s still got it Tuesday night during a 6-1 victory over his former mates.
With nine innings of one-run ball, Hernandez gave the New York Mets a much-needed gem while besting Stammen, who was a bit ragged during his second career outing and in the process suffered his first career loss.
In a performance that looked all too familiar to Nationals fans who rooted for Hernandez as their staff ace in 2005 and 2006, the big right-hander put himself into trouble just about every inning yet emerged unscathed almost every time.
And with his team comfortably ahead and his starter cruising, Mets manager Jerry Manuel let Hernandez hit for himself in the eighth - drawing a big roar from the Citi Field crowd of 39,376 - and then retake the mound in search of his 46th career complete game.
“A lot of people can learn from this guy,” Washington manager Manny Acta said. “He’s been doing it for so many years. He’s never willing to give into the hitters, and he’s not afraid to throw the ball over the plate when he has to.”
Contrast that with Stammen, who lasted only five innings and couldn’t escape the couple of jams he got into, and the end result - Washington’s 14th loss in 17 games - might as well have been a foregone conclusion.
“He really knows how to pitch,” Stammen said of Hernandez. “For a young guy like me, I can look at how he pitches and goes about his business… and learn something from it. He did good tonight. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to match him.”
There were a couple of late fireworks, with reliever Jason Bergmann surrendering a three-run homer to Gary Sheffield in the seventh - with no repeat of Monday’s fan interference dispute - and then throwing his next pitch (a curveball) over Fernando Tatis’ head.
Plate umpire Dan Iassogna immediately warned Bergmann and both benches, a decision that surprised the entire Washington dugout.
“It was a curveball,” Bergmann said. “I was trying to throw it over the plate, not over his head.”
Added Acta: “That’s today’s game for you. You give up a home run, you might as well give up another one and throw the ball right down the middle. But you can’t come even close [to the batter], because that’s how the game is played nowadays.”
Stammen didn’t have particularly sharp command either. The 25-year-old reached the majors and enjoyed a successful debut last week because he pounded the strike zone with fastballs and then worked ahead of hitters. But he wasn’t nearly as precise Tuesday night, falling behind in the count and getting into trouble against the bottom of New York’s lineup.
The Mets scored their first run on back-to-back doubles by unheralded Nos. 7 and 8 hitters Omir Santos and Ramon Martinez. Their next two runs were driven in by Tatis (a journeyman) and Fernando Martinez (the organization’s top prospect who was promoted from Class AAA earlier in the day).
About the Author
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
- Mike Shanahan says he'd like to return; RG3 might be benched
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
Let’s talk about everything, especially the absurdity of it all
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Never apologetic. Never afraid. Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West joins Communities to bring tales from the biggest Foxhole of them all, the one inside the Beltway.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow