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:
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."
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."
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."
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