Thirty years from now, Livan Hernandez will beat the Braves in a key game. Doesn’t matter how old he is or what sort of year he has had. That’s what Livan does. As a Marlin, he did it in Game 5 of the 1997 NLCS, sometimes known as the Eric Gregg game. As a Giant, he did it in Game 4 the 2002 Division Series. As a Nat, he did it again last night.
He’s Livan Hernandez, and he beats the Braves when the Braves don’t need to be beaten. I can’t explain it, but there you go.
The good news: He’s not pitching today. John Lannan is. (And he beat the Braves last month.) But Lannan isn’t the nemesis Livan is. Nobody is.
The Braves trail Philadelphia by two full games. That’s the furthest from first place they have been since May 26. Suffice it to say, they need to win today.
And I’ll be here to watch and observe, and I hope you’ll join me. But I confess going in that I’m a bit distracted. Walking into the ballpark I got a call informing me John Guthrie, the former Georgia basketball coach who became the SEC and ACC director of officiating, died at age 70 last night in Duluth. I considered Coach Guthrie a friend and have written a little something about him.
Which is why I’m a bit late with this live blog. But I’ll try to refocus and do my best to concentrate on the task at hand. I’d appreciate it if you join me, and I thank you in advance.