Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Good Livo, Bad Livo, More Bad Baseball

On his good nights, Livan Hernandez is a durable don't-give-a-hoot workhorse and/or warhorse who eats innings in the manner that most men eat meatball hoagies, a true old-fashioned gunslinger who just plays for the love of the game and won't stop pitching 'til they come and rip the jersey right off his back. At least that's what I've read.

But as Boz noted a while back, the good starts with Livo are really good; the bad ones, though, are obscenely bad. I admit, this statistic is fairly limited in its usefulness, but this gives you an idea of the Good Livo/Bad Livo disparity.

When Livo starts (2009) and his team wins:

10 games, 2.98 ERA, eight quality starts, 15.0 pitches per inning

When Livo starts and his team loses:

19 games, 7.14 ERA, eight quality starts, 17.1 pitches per innings.

Just to give you some perspective, John Lannan's ERA in wins is 2.07; in losses, it's 5.58. As Hernandez has gotten older, it's not that his best starts aren't as good; it's that his worst starts are poorer. His ERA in Ws in 2005 (20 games): 2.74. His ERA in Ls in 2005 (15 games): 5.86.

Other numbers worth noting...

99 -- The Nats' loss total after the latest nine innings of wretchedness.

38 -- Adam Dunn's home run total, after his two-run shot Tuesday.

5.63 -- Chad Billingsley's ERA over his last 12 starts. The Dodgers' erstwhile ace pitches Wednesday for the first time in nine days.

77 -- the predicted 2009 Washington Nationals' win total, from Baseball Prospectus.

7 -- the Dodgers' magic number to clinch the NL West.

By Chico Harlan  |  September 23, 2009; 8:45 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Desmond's Future at SS, 2B, OF... All of the Above?
Next: The Let's-Avoid-100 Lineup

Comments

Another excellent opening paragraph to this post.

Men eating meatball hoagies. Dude, you crack me UP!

Posted by: NatsNut | September 23, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I think Livo might prefer these:

http://whatscookingamerica.net/Sandwich/CubanSandwich.htm

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 23, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Good Livo, Bad Livo it doesn't matter when you only score 2 runs! If Lannan was out there last night we still would have lost.

Posted by: markfd | September 23, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Sitting in my seat at last night's game, I was reminded of the time in 1962 when I sat in New York's old Polo Grounds and saw the Dodgers beat the Mets 17-3. I really believe this year's Nats are as bad as the '62 Mets. Yes, the Nats'record will be better, but how do you think they would do if they had to face just 9 other teams all season and, thus, pitchers like Koufax, Drysdale, Marichal, Gibson, Spahn, Maloney, Veale etc. a half-dozen times, or more.

Posted by: fluffy4 | September 23, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Ugh.

The Dodgers are a very good team.
The Nats are a very bad team.
That sums up last night's game.

I got my red on, went to the game, and cheered for Ronnie Belliard. I'm so happy for him that he's on a real team with a real manager and FO after his shameful mishandling by this dysfunctional franchise.

Tonight may be our best chance for a win. Billingsley has been struggling and Detwiler looked (comparatively) good the last time out.

Posted by: longhorn64 | September 23, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

After sitting at the Park and suffering thru yet an another debacle, I'm beginning to wonder, is what I saw last night just an extension of what has been or can this just be the end of what might be. Its just hard to fathom, Belliard couldn't hit a buck 95 when he was here and last night the guy looks like the second coming of ____ . I'm thinking Livo really isn't the answer as one of the (at a minimum 2 FA vet) arms that they need. They really need to find a serviceable catcher, they need either a SS or 2B man. Maybe Rizzo will give the Marlins Guzman and the Nats will get Uggla in return, I would even pay Guzmans salary to do that, btw don't even mention OHudson, he ain't coming here. Oh my I was thinking about going tonight but at this point I don't want to be a part of the 100 loss milestone. I think I think to much!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | September 23, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Gee, what a coincidence: The Dodgers magic number to clinch their division is exactly the same as the Nats to clinch the number one draft pick -- 7. Who will clinch first?

Posted by: twinbrook | September 23, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

...mmm... meatball hoagies... mmm...drool

Posted by: gilbertbp | September 23, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

97 -- the number that came to mind after last night's game (okay, so it's off by two, but otherwise...):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyk3AEXvmLg

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 23, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Back to Desmond for a bit - I think the Nats are doing a diservice to him and the team, especially the pitchers who are trying to make an impression for next year by playing Desmond at various positions and talking about even more. He's a shortstop; play him at shortstop; let his talents in the field and at the plate develope. Utility players are easier to find than all-star shortstops; in fact the Nats have too many utility players!!

Posted by: Bill-CH | September 23, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Bill and others re. the Desmond moves.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 23, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Riggelman was speaking off TPs there, I think. Desmond is planned to be a shortstop, they just need Guzzie to accept the move.

Posted by: Section506 | September 23, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Yeah the move to some other team! I'm over Guzman.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | September 23, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I went to my first game at the new stadium last night. I brought along 3 friends who had never been to a major league baseball game. Included in the group was a friend from the UK who, for some strange reason, has become a Nats fan. Of all the games to attend live, I think we ended up going to the worst one. 3 errors, 2 runs scored and 14 runs given up. Ugh. On top of all that, my friends didn't want to leave until the final pitch. It was pure agony.

On a brighter note, the ball park was really nice.

Posted by: mcupperman1 | September 23, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

That's funny about your friends not wanting to leave until the last out, mc. My most sincere sympathies to you. :-)

506, TP being Tony Plush? Or?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 23, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@fluffy4

Yeah, but the '62 Mets were more fun to watch, with Marvelous Marv, Roger Craig, Choo Choo Coleman, etc. The '09 Nats are like watching a kid struggle thru school--very talented in some areas but thrown into AP Calculus before he mastered Algebra. You know someday he'll make it but right now he's struggling and painful to watch.

Posted by: ramgut | September 23, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I thought TP was toilet paper, and was wondering if Interim Jim was reading off Charmin or that generic one-ply stuff they have in the stadium toilets. IMHO, Interim Jim ought to be supplementing his income by taking a few rolls of that home with him every night. He's gonna need it during the long cold winter of his unemployment.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | September 23, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I needed that laugh this a.m. Thanks, Eclipse resident.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 23, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

We knew going into the season that this would not be a stellar year, and there's no glee in saying that we were right. However, all I wanted was entertaining baseball, and sometime around the time that St. Claire and Manny left, the kiddie corp pitching, and TP roaming around CF, I got what I wanted: an entertaining product.

But we've slipped back into MoroseTown: mental errors = mailing it in. Just a few weeks left, gentlemen: do something entertaining. Not much to ask.

Posted by: joemktg1 | September 23, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I was reminded of the time in 1962 when I sat in New York's old Polo Grounds and saw The Dodgers beat the Mets 17-3. I really believe this year's Nats are as bad as the '62 Mets. Yes, the Nats' record will be better, but how do you think they would do if they had to face just 9 other teams all season and, thus, pitchers like Koufax, Drysdale, Marichal, Gibson, Spahn, Maloney, Veale etc. a half-dozen times, or more.

Posted by: fluffy4

Post of the day, fluff. You are so right. Let's not forget we are two expansions past 1962. Pitching, in particular, is so watered down. I think the '62 Mets and this team are very, very close. This team (Goozie, in particular) is hardly as lovable. But defensively, I actually think the Marvelous Marv Mets had an edge on this club. We are horrendous just throwing, catching, making relays, backing up the bases (Livo, for example, last night, stationing himself five feet behind the catcher and failing to catch the overthrow). Stolen bases, fuhgettaboutit. When was the last time we threw out a baserunner? Double steals make us look like Little Leaguers. Our 50 wins is inflated, actually. I totally agree.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | September 23, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I generally don't like to invoke old Orioles comparisons, but bringing Desmond to the majors next year in a super utility role would be similar to the way Bobby Grich and later Doug Decinces were eased into the majors. Those were very successful efforts. Both eventually owned their own position, but both benefited from the experience. More recently the Rays did it with Upton, the Pirates did it with Freddy Sanchez, the Rangers did it with Kinsler (sort of), the Braves did it with DeRosa and Johnson, and Rockies have done it with multiple players including Stewart and Barmes. I'm not sure I buy into the argument that it would be detrimental to Desmond's development. He's a talented guy, but he's not necessarily the full time answer at any given position.

Posted by: natbiscuits | September 23, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

We knew going into the season that this would not be a stellar year...

Posted by: joemktg1 | September 23, 2009 10:50 AM

**************
I disagree. I knew no such thing. In the offseason, we made some significant improvements over last year. We got Dunn at a good price. We got Olsen and Willingham. Everyone was healthy, we had all these new kids with potential pitching. We'd shed some of the dead weight (read: Bowden).

Coming out of spring training, all that looked immensely encouraging. I would have never guessed we'd come anything close to last year's record.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 23, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I still remember the Nats second year in town..if Livo looked good in the first inning we were golden but if the opponent scored in the first inning we were in big trouble. With Livo, it seems to be all or nothing.

Posted by: teach1 | September 23, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Redskin fan behind me explaining to friends the booing at Sunday's game. Compare to last night where even after Livo blows up he got a smattering of polite applause as he walked off the field.

Not that it really mattered by that point, but late in the seventh with two out. Kemp on first. Loney dribbles a ball to Dunn, Segovia attempting to cover first. Dunn makes no throw to first or second and scorer give Loney a hit. C'mon guys how about a little defense.

Posted by: HondoHomers | September 23, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Our system is so bad when it comes to position players - the one that might be ready to make the leap they want to mess with? Unbelievable.

Also, position by position (including SP 1-5 and RP), the only place we are better than the Dodgers is 3B and maybe 1B - the rest aren't even close.

Posted by: goexpos2 | September 23, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

It does look like the season is pretty much over ... except for the guys who know they may not be back unless they show something.

You might as well go ahead and play the Padilla's, the Morse's, the Desmond's, the Dukes, the Maxwell's and yes the Orr's. Not the Guzman's, the Willinghams, the Harris's, etc. Perhaps they won't put out as much effort at this point?

Posted by: periculum | September 23, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Our system is so bad when it comes to position players - the one that might be ready to make the leap they want to mess with? Unbelievable.

Posted by: goexpos2

Absolutely right. And the chap comparing the way this sad-sack team is treating Desmond with the way the Orioles treated DeCinces and Grich back in the day, that comparison is ludicrous on its face. The only reason the 100-victory Orioles did that was they had very solid players (Brooks and Dauer, specifically) ahead of them still in their prime. What, we're afraid of losing some quality years off of Cristian Guzman's career? The more I watch of Goozie, the less range he appears to have. Unless it's hit within three feet of where he is stationed, it's a hit. Interim Jim has lost me. I used to be in favor of him staying; not any longer. Company house man, that's all he is. Go with Foli, or some other hell-raiser. I wouldn't think Buck Showalter would give these guys the time of day, but perhaps it's time to rachet up the Unstable Meter and go with him. This insanity with Desmond is nuts. What's next, try him out of the bullpen tonight, Jim? What they hell is September for if not experimenting with a 50-and-99 team?

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | September 23, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

In other news, next weekend's Library of Congress baseball symposium is intriguing (and free). Hat tip to SABR for the info.

http://www.loc.gov/folklife/Symposia/Baseball/index.html

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 23, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"What, we're afraid of losing some quality years off of Cristian Guzman's career? The more I watch of Goozie, the less range he appears to have. Unless it's hit within three feet of where he is stationed, it's a hit."

Guzman actually made several good-to-excellent defensive plays last night, while Desmond looked terrible in the field.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | September 23, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Good Livo, Bad Livo it doesn't matter when you only score 2 runs! If Lannan was out there last night we still would have lost.

Posted by: markfd | September 23, 2009 9:01 AM
++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Very true.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | September 23, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Desmond may have looked terrible in the field last night, but that's because he's playing out of position. He has been a SS for his entire professional career. You can't take a player from one position and expect him to be Gold Glove caliber fielder at another. I don't care of both are middle infield or both are corner outfield positions. You learn to play one position and you play it for years, you can't just automatically jump in and play another one without weeks of practice.

The Nats are completely screwing Desmond over by not having him play SS every day. At the very worst, Guzman is the starting SS next year. After that? He's gone. Who's going to be the SS in 2011? So there is no reason to cow-tow to him now.

Might as well let Desmond play it out this year. See what he's got. If he stinks, he stinks. We stick with Guzzie for next year. If he's decent, great! Pencil him in for the starting SS position for next year and beyond. Worry about Guz in the offseason. Why are the Nats making this more difficult than it needs to be?

Posted by: erocks33 | September 23, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't mind Guzman so much, but its pointless to have him playing now. Should be this going forward to see what we have:
1B - Dunn, 2B - Gonzalez, SS - Desmond, 3B - Ryan, OF - Dukes, Maxwell (4th OF next year?), Willingham with Harris and Morse as utility guys.

Next year OF with Bernadina and Nyjer coming back should be intriguing. Still need FA catching depth and 2B in the field. I don't have a huge problem with slotting Desmond at 2B for next year if Guz stays. This is pretty intriguing for next year (though relatively poor defensively):
CF - Morgan
SS - Guzman
3B - Zimmermann
1B - Dunn
LF - Willingham
RF - Dukes
C - Flores (hope)
2B - Desmond

Now pitching.........

Posted by: goexpos2 | September 23, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Desmond is not going to be ruined for life because the Rigglemonster runs him out to RF or 2B a handful of times. His stint now is the definition of "cup of coffee" so just seeing big league pitchers and getting a feel for the game at this level is all he is here to do. I do not think he's ready to play everyday so if he can bring value by being a super-utility guy, then that's a way to get him on the roster.

But facts are facts, and the fact is Desmond makes errors at a disturbingly high clip - and has all thru his career. He has more tools than skills at this point, and I think there is serious doubt as to whether his career is really at short. So if JR wants to get more versatility out of him, then I'm all for it. That said, let him learn the OF this offseason and not at this level. Pete Orr should have been in the OF over ID. (side note: if Desmond is the ID, does that make FoF the Ego and Tony Plush the Super-Ego?... just sayin')

Posted by: sec307 | September 23, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Guys, it's not as if Desmond WASN'T terrible at SS. he had 15 gazillion errors in AAA and AA this year. What makes you think he'll make less errors in the majors. The way our pitching staff is lined up with all these young pitch-to-contact hitters, having a sieve at SS is going to hurt. A lot. I don't think Guz is all that bad, sure his range is lower and he probably would benefit a move to 2nd, but at least defensively, he is a much better option than Desmond right now.

Posted by: swang30 | September 23, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes a player is just a player. Just sayin'... ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 23, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

D'oh! Postal intervention again. That response related to the id, ego, and superego musings.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 23, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely right. And the chap comparing the way this sad-sack team is treating Desmond with the way the Orioles treated DeCinces and Grich back in the day, that comparison is ludicrous on its face. The only reason the 100-victory Orioles did that was they had very solid players (Brooks and Dauer, specifically) ahead of them still in their prime.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | September 23, 2009 12:48 PM

Dauer came after Grich. Way after. Grich had already been traded a couple of years before Dauer even got on the field. Davey Johnson was the 2nd baseman before Grich. If you saw Brooksie play his last couple of years, he played like an old man. You're showing your age, or lack of it. They refused to play DeCinces until Brooksie walked off in the middle of '77. He should have been in there much earlier.

Posted by: Brue | September 23, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I just had an even more depressing realization: I don't think this team even *has* an id. Bowden sortof filled that, but now?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 23, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I think the idea is it's not fair to the other teams to do that. Some of these games matter to someone.

But that may just be an Acta philosophy.

-----

You might as well go ahead and play the Padilla's, the Morse's, the Desmond's, the Dukes, the Maxwell's and yes the Orr's. Not the Guzman's, the Willinghams, the Harris's, etc. Perhaps they won't put out as much effort at this point?

Posted by: JohninMpls | September 23, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

OTOH, if they should happen to get Bobby Valentine, maybe Desmond will continue to get time at several positions. Bobby played pretty much everywhere after he broke his leg.
Oh wait, that would analogize to Bernardina, wouldn't it? Nevermind.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 23, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Part of me wishes some fans would coordinate some mock celebration of the 100th loss.

Big signs, exclamation points, pictures of Bryce Harper. I dunno. Something. It would more effective and entertaining if it were choreographed.

Let the FO feel our sarcastic wrath.

-----

Coming out of spring training, all that looked immensely encouraging. I would have never guessed we'd come anything close to last year's record.

Posted by: JohninMpls | September 23, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

JiM, you're assuming that playing those guys might change the outcome. The data don't seem to support that.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 23, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm amused to have Mr. Sunshine call my opinions crap. (but a hearty thppppttt! to you too)

In my mind the issue is not whether Guzman or Desmond should be the starting shortsop. One has consistency, one has range. Neither is an ideal starting shortstop. Desmond has a history of making miistakes on easy plays that he would have to overcome. A third option is needed. And if you have a third option, then having Desmond serving as a semi regular utility player would be a benefit. I'm all for letting Desmond earn a job, but I do not agree that asking a young player to play multiple positions is an unreasonable burden that will hinder development.

Posted by: natbiscuits | September 23, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

They need to keep running Dunn out there, at least until he gets his 40--that's too good a marketing point to give it away. And you might be able to let Guzman or Willie Harris get PO'd, but not Zimmerman, so he has to play. Willingham actually looks like he needs a few days off, but he'll get them soon enough. Dukes should be playing every day, just because he needs it. Desmond and Maxwell, likewise. Somebody has to catch, and everybody they have now is expendable, so whatever, there.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 23, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"Part of me wishes some fans would coordinate some mock celebration of the 100th loss."

How does an attendance in the 100's sound?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 23, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

How does an attendance in the 100's sound?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa.

Taking away the fans wearing Dodgers shirts, they're coming awfully close. Wonder if StanK is on LA radio today, urging people to take the red-eye to Dulles for tomorrow night's game?

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | September 23, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Guys, it's not as if Desmond WASN'T terrible at SS. he had 15 gazillion errors in AAA and AA this year. What makes you think he'll make less errors in the majors. The way our pitching staff is lined up with all these young pitch-to-contact hitters, having a sieve at SS is going to hurt. A lot. I don't think Guz is all that bad, sure his range is lower and he probably would benefit a move to 2nd, but at least defensively, he is a much better option than Desmond right now.

Posted by: swang30 | September 23, 2009 1:52 PM
++++++++++++++++++++++++++

So true.

Desmond is now back to earth hitting .340 It is nice to dream but doesn't look like he can go a season as a .400 hitter.

As far as defense, he should be playing 2nd base and the Nats should be looking for a long-term solution as Guzy's contract is over after 2010 anyways.

Guzy has good range to his left and his range to his right is over-compensated by Zim's range in the hole. The problem really is Zim not being able to play closer to the line to cut down on those balls close to the line which end up going as doubles into the corner.

Instead of debating the middle infield, the starting pitching and bullpen are the most immediate problems for 2010.

This season is now just an audition for next year and like Sec3mysofa said getting Dunn his 40th HR and Zim needs those 100 RBIs and yes, Willingham needs a rest.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | September 23, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering if they had a T-shirt tonight to commemorate the 100th loss?

Posted by: jjburns1 | September 23, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of 100 losses, lineup in the new post.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 23, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of t-shirts, did the NatsTown one mention the population of 9,000?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 23, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh. Wait. That one's next week. This week it's the dirty birdy.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 23, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company