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Washington 5, Arizona 0

This is Andrew again, and I'm here to recap last night's victory.

The complete effort impressed me. So many times this season, pitcher John Lannan had performed with efficiency but lacked the necessary run support to gain the victory. Last night, the Nationals took advantage of Micah Owings's shaky outing -- to put it mildly -- and made some timely defensive plays to capitalize on his lack of control.

Of course, Jesus Flores's three-run pinch-hit home run will garner headlines, but the Nationals' infield should receive kudos as well. Yes, Lannan pitched well, but there were many times when the Diamondbacks might have threatened if the Nationals' hadn't turned double plays to snuff potential scoring opportunities.

On a side note: I found it interesting that Lannan said he didn't throw his best stuff. He sure had Arizona fooled, and it showed.

Here are a few quotes that didn't make it into the gamer:

Manny Acta

ON LANNAN: "His fastball was working for him. ... He made pitches when he had to. He got those double plays, and he had a few innings there where everyone was 2-0. He got through it without sinking fast. ... He wanted to win bad, but he knows he has been pitching well, and we appreciate what he has been doing. I think it was good for him to get [the consecutive starts without a victory streak] off his back, but I don't think he is worried about getting the 'W' for himself but for our team."

John Lannan

ON HIS NIGHT: "It feels good. Every time I go out there, I try to get a victory. I have been doing the same thing with every start. We came up big with some clutch hits, and it's great to go out there and get a win. ... I wouldn't say that I was rewarded tonight. We just scored some runs, and I was grateful that I was able to go out there without my best stuff and give us the ballgame. I try to do that every time out."

Jesus Flores

ON CONFIDENCE GAINED FROM THE HOME RUN: "It means a lot for me. ... When the manager is giving you an opportunity to play every day and the chance to pinch-hit, that's big for me. I feel really sure of myself. Tonight, he gave me a chance, and I feel confidence."

By Chico Harlan  |  July 10, 2008; 1:28 AM ET
 
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Comments

I can't believe what I just read!

John Lannan "carried himself with pride, trotting to and from the mound with an extra bounce in his step as his defense mastered Arizona's lineup". . . until "fireworks exploded beneath an ominous sky."

Did I really read the quoted items in the intern's gamer? Yes! Was the intern watching the game from Pimlico? Or working on his novel?

Posted by: flynnie | July 10, 2008 2:15 AM | Report abuse

Andy the Intern's gamer is preferable to the AP's Joseph White who took all of my exhilaration at the promising future on display in last night's splendid victory, from John Lannan to Jesus Flores' home run in the pitch to Corey Kasto going 2 for 3 w/2 rbi's and his first MLB stolen base, and did this with it:

"The game pitted the two worst hitting teams in the National League as well as two pitchers without a victory in their last 14 combined starts. On Tuesday, the teams played a 2-0 game in which neither run was earned.

The product, therefore, was mind-numbing, at least until Flores' homer. The teams combined for nine walks, three hit batters and six double plays. For the first five innings, the game almost deserved to be rained out, but somehow the dark and stormy clouds that virtually surrounded Nationals Park managed to dump their rain elsewhere."

What a sense of entitlement! If the game's not for first place, it is irrelevant, and beneath anyone's consideration. Thanks Andy, for doing better than your professional AP colleague, Mr. White.

I need to recapture last night's magic-Ah! The answer! An infomercial on MASN for "The Instant Fisherman"-a snub-nose rod+reel that allows you to catch everything from pin-perch to shark and stores in a valise that doubles as a tackle belt! Talk about optimism!

Posted by: flynnie | July 10, 2008 3:14 AM | Report abuse

flynnie-

Right on, as always.

I think that the AP writer was more than unfair to Lannan, since he had only 3 of those walks in 6 innings of shutout ball. A less lazy writer would have noted that Lannan's failure to win in spite of a 3.40 ERA (14th in the league, hardly behind Brandon Webb at #11) is due to his league worst run support.

Lannan really is a keeper. I hope that some of our other rising pitchers like Balester, Martis, Clippard and Mock (among others) will soon give the AP writer more reason to be bored with low scoring games. I think our hitters are still behind that curve.

Posted by: Positively Half St | July 10, 2008 6:58 AM | Report abuse

"The product, therefore, was mind-numbing, at least until Flores' homer."

The AP writer is absolutely correct. Baseball's boring unless there are home runs. B-O-R-I-N-G. All that fielding and pitching stuff really puts me to sleep.

Hey, I wonder if there's something we could do to drastically increase the number of home runs per game? That would make it a lot more exciting! Yeah, that's what we'll do, more home runs! And try to make the game faster paced! Kids will like that more! What we need is a real home run record chase to revitalize baseball!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 10, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

[raises hand]I have an idea in that regard.

Posted by: Barry Bonds | July 10, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

I do sometimes wonder if baseball will survive the increasing short attention spans of future generations thanks to tv's, computers, etc...

Posted by: Count Demoney | July 10, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Amazing pitching by Lannan and the relievers last night. Six baserunners, four wiped out on DPs, none reached second base. For one night, the Nats looked like a good team -- working counts, timely hitting, great pitching.

Posted by: TheGreenMiles | July 10, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I have always thought that baseball is for intelligent people and football is for the violent uneducated masses.
That is why in 25 years baseball will be just a niche sport and football will be even more popular.
The dumbing down of America is in full swing when even a guy who is paid to write about is too dumb to enjoy a low scoring game.

Posted by: DW | July 10, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Great game last night. I think the Nats turned more DP's last night than they have in two weeks.

Posted by: laxbigj | July 10, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

It's no use changing your initials, George Will, we know it's you.

********
I have always thought that baseball is for intelligent people and football is for the violent uneducated masses.
That is why in 25 years baseball will be just a niche sport and football will be even more popular.
The dumbing down of America is in full swing when even a guy who is paid to write about is too dumb to enjoy a low scoring game.

Posted by: DW | July 10, 2008 9:02 AM

Posted by: Section 3 of my couch | July 10, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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