The Nats made no excuses after dropping the first game on their 10-game road trip.
Livan Hernandez was facing his former Giants team for the first time this season and he pretty much cruised through the first four. His career record against San Francisco dropped to 4-7 after he failed to get opposing pitcher Todd Wellemeyer out in the fifth inning with two out and the Giants went on to score four runs. The Nats would rally for two but that wouldn’t be enough.
After the game Livo admitted he was disappointed with the way that inning unraveled. His teammate and another former Giant, Tyler Walker, told me he knew Livan was pumped to take on the Giants.
The Nats know they’ll have their work cut out for them on Wednesday when they face two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum.
A couple of other notes to pass along...
Josh Willingham continues to provide clutch hits late in the game. He had an RBI single in the seventh. Entering the game, he owned a .326 batting average after the sixth inning. Before the seventh it drops to .239.
Nats hitting coach Rick Eckstein said that’s a testament to how focused Josh is at the plate. He also added that the numbers show what a clutch hitter he is with the game on the line. Josh really rises to the occasion. He builds off each at bat, which helps him improve as the game goes along.
Former Giant JT Snow brought his little league team to the game on Tuesday to watch his former San Francisco teammate pitch. (He and Livo played together on the 2002 team that went to the World Series).
JT coaches the “Nationals” - a team that finished second in Hillsborough, a suburb of San Francisco. He dropped by the field before the game to say hello to Livan and wish him well. JT told me he and Livo shared a laugh when the 36-year-old told him, “I was supposed to be done five years ago!” Yet the veteran continues on.