The Nationals are in yet another rubber match with an NL East rival in the New York Mets. Of any major league franchise, the Nationals have had the most success against the boys from the Big Apple.
The Washington Nationals wild, walk-off victory against the New York Mets Saturday night was the franchise's 350th victory game against the Mets on Saturday, their most against any Major League club. On Sunday afternoon, the Nats will be looking for 351.
If playing with numbers is your thing, then you will like Washington's choice of starting pitcher because Livan Hernandez (8-12, 4.29 ERA) has been racking up numbers his whole career. The 36-year old threw his 50,000th Major League pitch his last start and will toe the mound against the Mets for the 40th time in his long career, the most starts against any team he has ever had. Sunday will also mark the last time the Cuban workhorse will start for the Nationals in 2011 and, depending on the climate in the organization and its choices, it may be his last start as a member of the Nationals. Nationals.com:
"I thank God every day for giving me a chance to throw all of my career. It's nice," said Hernandez. "It's hard to stay healthy every five days. ... I'm the type of guy that tries to take care of myself every fifth day.
Hernandez has said he would love to return to the Nationals next season and is even willing to take a long relief role with the team. His opponent Sunday will be Mike Pelfry (7-11, 4.65 ERA).
The Rubber Match kicks off at 1:35 P.M.
Ian Desmond, SS
Roger Bernadina, LF
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
Jayson Werth, CF
Rick Ankiel, RF
Danny Espinosa, 2B
Chris Marrero, 1B
Wilson Ramos, C
Livan Hernandez, SP