Livan Hernandez was a one-man gang last night in Atlanta

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Not only did Livan Hernandez shut out the Braves for eight innings last night, he went 2-for-4 with a double and a homer at the plate in an 6-0 victory.
Hernandez now has 10 career homers, which ranks third among all active pitchers:

                      PA     HR
Carlos Zambrano      650     21
Mike Hampton         845     16
LIVAN HERNANDEZ     1042     10
Micah Owings         198      9
Yovani Gallardo      181      8
Dontrelle Willis     413      8

Hernandez has more plate appearances than everyone else on that list, so it’s not quite an apples-to-apples comparison. For instance, Hernandez ranks just 10th in OPS among active pitchers with at least 150 plate appearances:

                      PA      OPS
Micah Owings         198     .861
Yovani Gallardo      181     .690
Mike Hampton         845     .650
Carlos Zambrano      650     .637
Dontrelle Willis     413     .634
Adam Wainwright      331     .588
Dan Haren            287     .580
Russ Ortiz           608     .549
Darren Oliver        243     .543
LIVAN HERNANDEZ     1042     .532

On the other hand, Hernandez is the active hit king among pitchers with 204 and no one else is within 25 hits.

How Yu Darvish tipped his pitches during the World Series

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You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.

Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.

Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.

Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.