|1st pitch thrown by a NY Met at Citi Field, (exhibition game versus Red Sox)|
36 years old (seems like he should be 40)
16th major league season
6'2" 220 pounds
Bats R/Throws R
I widely assume that every single baseball fan knows 36-year old Livan Hernandez, and everyone knows he throws slow, slower and slowest as his pitches these days. I'm not going to highlight his career stats or anything, as he has changed as a pitcher over the past 16 years and the data from his early starts against the Mets are meaningless. His career ERA is 4.38 and last year (3.66) it was under 4.0 since 2005; his WHIP was below 1.5 for the first time since 2005 as well (1.32).
Looking at his pitch data, the only thing he has changed is that he is throwing a few more sliders now than in the past (20% vs 17%) and increased his curveball to 14% this year from 6% in 2009. His fastball averages about 84 mph, change-up 77 mph, slider 77 mph and curve-ball (eephus) 66 mph. Last year his two best pitches were his fastball (?!) and his curve ball.
This season Livan is 2-2 in 5 starts (31 innings), with a 3.48 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. His K/9 rate is terrible (4.35), but he has limited HRs (2) and walks (2.6 BB/9). He only throws strikes 44% of the time, and has a poor swing and miss rate (5.3%). What makes Livan successful is hitters swing and make contact at 78.5% of the pitches that he throws outside of the strike zone (league average is 66%), which results in a lot of weak ground balls etc.
This will be his 38th career start versus the Mets. That's a whole lot of starts. He started versus the Mets 5 times in 2010, and had a shiny 1.89 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. Hopefully the Mets are a more disciplined hitting team this year versus last.