- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 3, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO — It had been nearly four years since Livan Hernandez last pitched in San Francisco, a surprising fact considering the veteran right-hander has been in the National League the whole time.

Yet Hernandez’s four outings against the Giants team that traded him following the 2002 season all came in home games, either in Montreal, Puerto Rico or Washington.

So the Nationals hurler had mixed emotions as he dominated his old club during a 4-1 victory Tuesday night. Some Giants fans have never forgiven Hernandez for his poor performance in the 2002 World Series, particularly in Game 7, when he lasted only two innings against the Anaheim Angels.

“I want to say something to the people here: I’m not mad at nobody else here,” he said. “Remember, before Game 7 in the World Series, I won the most important game that year to make the World Series [Game 4 of the National League Division Series against the Braves]. People forget that. But I never forget it. My family never forgets. A lot of fans forget that moment. I think it’s not right.”

Hernandez spent 31/2 seasons with the Giants, going 45-45, but he made his real mark in the postseason, carrying a 6-0 lifetime record into the 2002 World Series before losing both his starts to the Angels.

He said he still keeps in touch with several people in San Francisco, though his only ex-teammates still playing are Barry Bonds and Jason Schmidt. As for the fans at AT&T; Park who were still razzing him Tuesday night for something that happened four years ago, Hernandez is ready to move on.

“The people who blame me, I don’t care,” he said. “I know I have got more people here who love me because I’m a great guy and I did a good job for this team and a lot of good things for the community here. So if you want to blame me, blame me. You either love me or hate me. I’ve still got a lot of friends here.”

Alfonso the Great

Alfonso Soriano gunned down Omar Vizquel at second base yesterday for his 16th outfield assist, the most in the majors this season.

The franchise record for assists in a season is 24, set in 1978 by both Ellis Valentine and Warren Cromartie of the Montreal Expos. With yesterday’s assist, Soriano is on pace to tie that record.

Extra bases

The Nationals wound up facing Bonds only once in this series, in Monday’s opener. The San Francisco slugger sat out the last two games after complaining of swelling in his right knee. Washington pitchers fared exceptionally well against Bonds this season. In four games played, he went 0-for-10 with three walks. …

Jose Vidro was eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list yesterday, but the second baseman hasn’t fully recovered from a strained left hamstring. Vidro remains in Washington and won’t return to action until the club returns next week at the earliest. …

To make room on their 40-man roster for various call-ups this week, the Nationals outrighted reliever Kevin Gryboski to Class AAA New Orleans and infielder Melvin Dorta to Class AA Harrisburg.

Got a question about the Nats? Mark Zuckerman has the answers. To submit a question, go to the https://www.washingtontimes.com/sports>Sports Page

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