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Mets Vs. Nationals: Livan Hernandez Takes Mound To Help Prevent Sweep By Mets

The pressure is on Washington Nationals starter Livan Hernandez (2-2, 3.48 ERA) in more ways than one Thursday night. The workhorse right hander was recently named in a federal probe involving money laundering for a known and convicted drug trafficker, and Thursday marks the first time he takes the mound under these allegations. The Nationals' organization has stated they are keeping a close watch on the situation, and Hernandez himself will not be making any comments pertaining to the probe.

On top of that, it will be Hernandez's job to keep his head on straight and pitch against the New York Mets, who are on a six-game win streak and will look to sweep the Nationals in the second series of the season between the two teams. The Mets will send Chris Capuano (2-1, 5.95 ERA) to the mound to attempt to finish off the floundering Nationals, who are still looking for any sort of consistency from its offense. The Nats as a whole are hitting only .227, and are hitting a horrid .200 with men in scoring position.

Shortstop Ian Desmond returns to the lineup Thursday night after spending some time on MLB's paternity list, and outfielder Roger Bernadina will return to Triple-A Syracuse. Catcher Ivan Rodriguez gets the start for the first time in four days for Wilson Ramos, who has been on an offensive tear. Ramos usually bats against right handers.

Nationals Lineup

Danny Espinosa - 2B

Rick Ankiel - CF

Jayson Werth - RF

Adam LaRoche - 1B

Michael Morse - LF

Ian Desmond - SS

Jerry Hairston Jr. - 3B

Ivan Rodriguez - C

Livan Hernandez - SP