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.
Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.
Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.
Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.