Livan Hernandez, the Nationals’ opening day starter, threw four brisk, one-hit innings in a minor league game against the Houston Astros prospects this morning at the Nationals’ minor league complex, throwing 28 strikes among his 38 pitches and delighting the large group of Nationals minor league pitchers who had gathered to watch with his array of slow-slower-and-slowest offerings.

“I’m not ready to go [for the regular season], but I’m feeling good, and I did what I wanted to do here,” Hernandez said. “I’m just trying to work on keeping the ball down, and getting my work in.”

Throwing to catcher Derek Norris, Hernandez faced the minimum 12 batters, striking out three and allowing one hard single, but erasing the baserunner with a double-play. Afterward, Hernandez threw about 15 additional pitches in the bullpen before departing in the passenger seat of Ivan Rodriguez’s golf cart.

Dave Sheinin has been covering baseball and writing features and enterprise stories for The Washington Post since 1999.

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