Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Livan on the Edge

2 outs, bottom of the 5th, Hernandez gives up a single to pitcher Todd Wellemeyer. This isn't as big a crime as walking the pitcher, but Wellemeyer is hardly Babe Ruth; he has zero extra base hits in his career. With a slow runner on first, Hernandez should be able to work out of this jam, correct? It came unraveled in a hurry, and before long, the Giants had almost batted around. These things can happen, and it wasn't like the Nats were out of the game. He will probably have more innings like this as the summer progresses, and his ERA will climb back toward that 3.75 mark.

The distressing part is this: 75, 88, 82, 64, 91, 94, 94, 96, 106, 93, 100, 91, 100, 82...

That 106 is Scott Olsen's last good start before the injury. The bullpen gets burned up quickly because they are going to it 15-20 pitches earlier than most teams. Clippard has earned most of those decisions by coming in during the sixth and seventh innings of close games.

Now I am one who believes pitch count has less to do with injury than overall fatigue... a 150 minute, 9 inning, 135 pitch cruise control game does less damage than a 30 minute, 32 pitch inning out of the stretch. If the coach's judgment is that is pitcher is fatigued after 5 innings and 75 pitches, then that's the move he should make. But at some point, the Nationals have to extend these pitchers and build their game stamina, or Clippard, Storen, and Capps are going to follow the long list of relievers cooked in DC.


  1. agreed. there was no reason Livan shouldn't have hit for himself and pitched another inning last night. wasn't getting rocked, just a couple dropped in.

  2. And he wasn't wild, either. And based on his reputation and past experience, we can be pretty sure Livan didn't ask to be lifted. He could have gotten at least one, but likely 2-3 innings, depending on when they needed to hit for him.