Livan Hernandez pitches, so of course the Nats are shut out

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For the third straight time Thursday, the Nationals were shut out in a Livan Hernandez start, losing 1-0 to the Mets as Dillon Gee and two relievers combined on a three-hitter.

The loss dropped him to .500 for his career at 169-169.

It took Hernandez himself to ruin Gee’s bid for a no-hitter when he singled with two outs in the sixth.  The Nats’ only other hits came courtesy of Alex Cora and Laynce Nix.

Hernandez has been on the wrong side of 1-0 games in back-to-back outings.  Just like last Saturday against the Marlins, he allowed one run over seven innings in this one.  The Nationals were also shut out in a May 8 start in which Hernandez gave up six runs.

In all, the Nats have been shut out in four of Hernandez’s 10 starts.  They scored one or two runs in two of the others.  When the Nationals have scored at least three runs, Hernandez is 3-0 with one no-decision.  For the season, he’s 3-6 with a 3.64 ERA.

Former Yankees prospect Manny Banuelos signs a minor league deal with the Dodgers

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Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.

OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.

Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.

It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.