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.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.