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Hernandez Puts Giants to Sleep

Mike SteffanosFriday, June 1, 2007
By Mike Steffanos


Mets 4 - Giants 2
Played Thursday, May 31, 2007

For three batters, it looked like the San Francisco Giants had El Duque's number. Two hits and a sacrifice fly made the 41-year-old Cuban look fragile and vulnerable as the Giants jumped out 2-0 on him. By the time the veteran right-hander walked off the field after Bengie Molina's fly out ended the seventh inning it was the Giants' offense that looked fragile, failing to notch another hit against Hernandez. Opposing pitcher Matt Cain was the only Giant to reach base after the first inning, and he was erased on Omar Vizquel's double play ball.

It was another pitching clinic tonight for El Duque. He's not striking out batters at the same one-per-inning pace as last season but they're not reaching base against him, either. As impressive as his 2.20 ERA and 0.89 WHIP are, consider that last night was only the second time in 7 starts that he allowed more than one earned run in a start. He's pitched at least six inning in 6 of 7 starts and has made it through 7 innings four times.

Joe Smith survived a leadoff double by Fred Lewis to pitch a scoreless eighth, and Billy Wagner was untouchable in recording his lucky 13th save.

As they did in San Francisco earlier this month, the Mets jumped on Matt Cain for 4 runs in the first two innings.

Orlando Hernandez (3-1)
DateOpp.IPRERHKBBHRERAWHIPTeam Result
4/3@STL71150211.291.00W
4/8@ATL61126411.501.00L
4/14WAS566843310.802.20L
4/19@FLA721310201.290.71W
4/24COL70045200.000.86W
5/25@FLA60024000.000.33W
5/31SFG72223102.570.43W
TOTAL (7 Games)45.0121126321452.200.895-2

Box Score

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Comments (4)

Our outfieled may be all banged up but our pitching is looking great . And the coolest thing is that we are getting some nice depth now . With Mota back we now have Burgos in AAA . We also have two guys that could be called at any moment that are hot in Brian Lawrence at New Orleans and Kevin Mulvey at Binghamton . In a couple of days Pedro will start throwing off a mound again and Dirty Duaner will not be far behind , And none of this includes our top billed guys Pelfrey , Humber and Vargas .

Then again if the guys we have in the rotation keep doing what they are doing we might not need anyone else . "El Dugue" was well The Man once again . This guy never ceases to amaze me . Maybe cause he is close to my own age and still preforming at a high level or maybe cause he seems to throw lollipops up there that nobody seems to be able to hit hard . For whatever reasons it is that he is so darned deceptive I hope he never loses it !

Tell ya, if these Mets make it to the Serious with El Duque intact and still doing what he can do, I am personally going to start a campaign for his consideration into baseball's Hall of Fame. Five or six years of talking up the subject will probably be necessary to have any impact.

It's my guess that no one else is talking about his HOF prospects simply because they have never considered his qualifications. We think of the Negro League players as deserving of consideration for the years when they couldn't play in the majors, but played spectacularly in the forum they were granted; how, exactly, does that differ from El Duque's case?

His best years were spent in Cuba, where he had legendary status, but seeing what he has done with the (extended) tail of his career I have no doubt he's been of Hall of Fame caliber. As are many players who don't make it, granted, and usually on their own account; but that's not the case with Orlando Hernandez. The question is, will that distinction matter to the public and the HOF voters?

Hum; I guess I didn't wait until the World
Series after all.

Eduardo - I was very skeptical when the Mets dealt for El Duque last year, but I have to admit that he won me over completely by the end of the season. With the exception of Pedro in his first year with the Mets, I don't think I enjoy watching anyone pitch as much as El Duque.
----------------------------
dd - That's an interesting question. I have to admit that I'm not really up on ED's pitching at the international level before he defected, but I can see how a case would be made for him.

DD's comments on "El Duque" are right on the money . He was larger than life in Cuba . I am a native Cuban and follow that countries baseball as well as i can from this distance . He was among the best of the best from that island nation . The problem would be that he was probably not even the best in his family . See "El Duque" Is actually "El Duque Jr" . His father was the original "El Duque" and quite possibly the best Cuban pitcher to ever walk onto a pitching mound !

Here is a link to an article that might give people a little more appreciation what people like "El Duque" go through to live their lives with a larger degree of freedom . And a paragraph on his father the "Real" "El Duque" at the end . Luckily I came here in a plane in 1961 after the revolution !

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4155/is_20050114/ai_n9623134

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