Scouting Today’s Starters from MLB.com
Livan Hernandez – Hernandez had a less than impressive outing in his final start of 2007 when he allowed 13 base runners and four runs in just four innings against the Pirates. It can be nerve-racking to watch Hernandez pitch at times because he has a tendency to pitch his way into and then out of trouble. He works the corners with his pitches and rather than give into hitters he would rather walk them, which explains his high walk total. Hernandez has post season experience with the Marlins in 1997 and the Giants in 2000 and 2002. He’s best remembered for his work in the 1997 playoffs when as a rookie he was named Most Valuable Player of both the NLCS and World Series going a combined 4-0 in those series. Hernandez did not face the Cubs this season, but he is 6-5 with a 3.58 ERA against them in 12 career games. He’s had success at Wrigley Field during his career going 4-2 with a 2.97 ERA in eight games there.

  • The key to Hernandez’s success is his smooth, compact mechanics. This allows him to have above-average control, and it also cuts down on the tension on his shoulder, which allows him to eat up innings. He is also recognized as one of the top hitting pitchers in the National League.
  • Hernandez is not very agile on the field. He has trouble with bunts and covering first base. He lacks a true strikeout pitch against lefties, and generally has trouble throwing strikes to them. Rich Hill – Hill has grown up a lot this season, his first full year in the big leagues. The left-hander with the big curve has won a career high 10 games despite ranking last in the Major Leagues in run support. He got off to a super start, posting a 3-1 record and 1.77 ERA in April. He set a strikeout high on June 7 at Atlanta, fanning 11, and also reached double-digit Ks on Aug. 22 when he fanned 10 in San Francisco. In his first start of the year on April 6 against Milwaukee, Hill gave up one run on one hit over seven innings and struck out six. He needs to be aggressive on the mound, both with his pitches and his body language. He may have saved his best for last.

    What to Watch For

  • Livan Hernandez career vs. the Cubs: 10-6, 4.02 ERA in 127.2 innings of work
  • Livan Hernandez career at Wrigley Field: 4-3, 2.92 ERA in 64.2 innings of work
  • Aramis Ramirez career vs. Hernandez: 1.346 OPS Around the Blogosphere
  • 1060 West – “All is not Lost
  • The Cub Reporter – “Game Two Roundtable
  • Thunder Matt’s Saloon – “It Ain’t Over Yet” Finally, a reader submitted this video to me to post on the site.
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    Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail