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Game 65 discussion thread: Nationals at Tigers

The Nationals come into Detroit at 13-21 on the road, the sixth-worst road mark in the league. Every team, naturally, plays better at home than on the road, but the difference has been especially stark for the Nationals -- they are 18-12 at home this year. The reason?

"I don't know," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "I looked at the record, and I know it's poor compared to our home record. Most of the time, clubs are a little lower on the road than they are at home. Ours is getting a little bit more than what you can live with. But I really don't have a reason for it. We come out early on the road just like we do at home, get our work in. We get into our next city in plenty of time, get plenty of sleep. It's just kind of the luck of the draw, coincidence. We're just not winning on the road. I don't have an answer for it."

The Nationals will try to change their luck on the road as John Lannan tries to bounce back from his first bad start in a month. He'll do it against Max Scherzer, who struck out a Strasburgian 14 batters in a 5 2/3 innings in one start this year.

The Nationals have already scored a run through half an inning -- Nyjer Morgan scored on an infield single, stole second and made third on a throwing error by Tigers catcher Gerald Laird and scored a sac fly by Ryan Zimmerman. Talk about the rest of the game right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 15, 2010; 7:14 PM ET
 
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Next: John Lannan trying to figure it out

Comments

Wow, bunt single, stolen base and run scored on SF for Morgan. This is what we expected all year. Really hope he gets untracked but you have to wonder if he is an everyday CF.

Posted by: Natmeister | June 15, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I find the Tigers TV announcers horrible... it's amazing these guys are broadcasting major league games. The play by play guy is OK, the color guy seems lost.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | June 15, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

phew - lannan got a little lucky there

Posted by: SKsDCtoNC | June 15, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Love those two out hits. And Nyjer getting it done tonight.

Posted by: marathoner | June 15, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Just a thought - Is it maybe time for Lannan to catch an option to SYR? His pitches/IP are on the rise, his pitches don't seem to have the bite they had in 2008-09, and batters are teeing off on his 2-seamer.

Posted by: BinM | June 15, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Lannan and Scherzer have thrown 133 pitches through three innings. I may be able to re-grow my beard during this game.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | June 15, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Lannan's on his way to the usual 5 innings, 100 pitches and 10 hits. Hope he can minimize the damage. Just don't bring in Walker.

Posted by: Natmeister | June 15, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

These aces have combined for 133 pitches through three innings. I may be able to re-grow my beard during this game.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | June 15, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Lannan can go anywhere. Maybe it was a thought when Olsen was healthy, but what's the gain with someone like Stammen filling that spot in the rotation? You'd just harm Lannan's confidence and take one of the clubhouse pillars.

Posted by: Kev29 | June 15, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

If Lannan wants to stay in the majors he should work on fielding grounders up the middle--he's got to be a 5th infielder.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | June 15, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Nice play by Morse at 1B!

Posted by: BinM | June 15, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Morse! Too bad he was hurt and got lost in the RF shuffle. With Bernadina showing some life at the plate we might have a RF solution. Or maybe a CF solution too but Nyjer looks good tonight. Maybe he sees some competition.

Posted by: Natmeister | June 15, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Cabrera kills Lannan, but an IBB with only 1 out will rise up to bite'em.

Posted by: BinM | June 15, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Eight hits, 4 walks, 88 ptches in three plus - Punch the ticket.

Posted by: BinM | June 15, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Cabrera kills Lannan...

***********************************

Even the bat boy could kill Lannan. He's been given the three times tonight and given it away each time. His stuff isn't fooling anyone. I've been a fan of his, but now I'm seriously thinking that he may not be a key piece of this team.

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 15, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Lannan's WHIP is 3+ tonight. At this point all you can do is hope he keeps the ball in the park. He's really hard to watch.

Posted by: Natmeister | June 15, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

that should say "He's been given the LEAD three times tonight"

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 15, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Lannan's been one of my favorites since he got here, but he's got to figure out a way to improve now that he's at the big league level. To me, he's got to do a better job with his breaking ball. He can't seem to throw it for a called strike (maybe he's hesitant to do that, I don't know) but he can't get hitters to chase it. If he can't improve his breaking ball, he's going to struggle.

Posted by: baltova1 | June 15, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Lannan has quickly worked to become the #5 pitcher in this rotation.

Pathetic. Every postgame news conference he says he knows what he needs to do and he just is not doing it.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | June 15, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

@thepostischeap: My point exactly; Lannan is basically throwing BP this year. With elevated WHIP, P/IP, and W/K ratios, opposed to his numbers in previous years, one has to wonder whether the numbers are just catching up with him, or if something is wrong, either physically or mechanically.

Either way, he's costing the team wins right now, imo.

Posted by: BinM | June 15, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

What happened to his sinker? Thought he was supposed to get lots of groundball outs. He can't live up in the zone. His pitches don't have enough speed or action, certainly not for AL lineups.

Posted by: Natmeister | June 15, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Mark my words, when someone of note returns healthy - Olsen, Wang, Detwiler, Marquis - then Lannan goes to the pen and becomes our lefty Batista while Batista looks for work elsewhere.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | June 15, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Here's some more ammo against Lannan: Gerald Laird, the catcher was struggling mightily, hitting .160 prior to tonight, is 3-for-3. 10 hits given up by Lannan now, with nobody out in the 5th. Not gonna cut it at the Major League level...

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 15, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

And a juggling act by Guzzie doesn't help things. Hope this isn't the start of a meltdown...

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 15, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

The beat goes on, a catcher hitting .180 has a 3 for 3 night. Lannan is right on target for his standard 10 hitter in 5 innings. How about a DP for a change Mister SInkerball?

Posted by: Natmeister | June 15, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

"You can go get him now"

Posted by: Kev29 | June 15, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Nope, the meltdown has come thanks to a .165 hitter smashing a poor pitch out of the park...

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 15, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Jeezus - A 3-run HR to a hitter who entered the game with a .165BA. That's just wrong on so many levels that it's not even laughable.

Posted by: BinM | June 15, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Whoops! Forgot about the mandatory error and followup unearned run. So much for the helpful DP. Hit number 10 soon to follow.

Posted by: Natmeister | June 15, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

See ya, Lannan. Enjoy all the hot water you want...

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 15, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Dibble honestly just said "in an American League lineup, there are no easy outs." Other than the guy hitting .160, who's 3-3, and the guy who's hitting .170, who just hit a homer.

Nice analysis, Dibble.

Like I said before, I really like Lannan, but he's terrible right now.

Posted by: baltova1 | June 15, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

I like Lannan but I think its time that he experience the beauty of Up State NY in the summer. Either he is playing hurt or everyone has figured him out. When Detwiller is ready to go I think Lannan is the odd man out at this point.

Posted by: mastroj | June 15, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Lannan is terrible. Pretty soon he'll be missing the target with shaving-cream pies.

Posted by: Drew8 | June 15, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Lannan should've been pulled in the 4th. Now it's all downhill for the team because of his ineptness.

Posted by: visionof75 | June 15, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

If I wanted to see an ugly game, I'd stay up to watch the O's game later tonight. I think Lannan just isn't that good and hitters have no trouble figuring him out.

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 15, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Tyler Walker, the perfect end to a perfect day. No way Lannan should have come out for the 5th, it was obvious he was toast. I'm starting to miss Stammen.

Posted by: Natmeister | June 15, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

And now the offense seems to be falling asleep. It seems like good pitching energizes the pitcher's offense, and lousy pitching has the opposite effect.

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 15, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Closing line on Lannan tonight: 4.1IP, 10H, 7R, 6ER, 4BB, 1K, 1HR. For the year, he's now at 64.7IP, 80H, 45ER, 38/23W/K ratio; That's a 1.83WHIP, and a 6.26ERA, when he has been around a 1.38-1.40WHIP, and a sub-4.00ERA prior to this year.

Those are butt-ugly numbers, boys & girls.

Posted by: BinM | June 15, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

To quote what Rizzo said with regard to DCab just before sending him packing: "I'm tired of watching him pitch." 'Nuf said.

Posted by: thelonghaul | June 15, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, facing 11 hits and 4 walks in 5 innings will create a distraction for a team when they finally get to come to the plate. The starting day rotation has imploded: Marquis and Olsen hurt, Lannen and Stammen ineffective. Hope Wang and Detwiler will be available before things really go south.

Posted by: Natmeister | June 15, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Don't get me wrong - I like Lannan (have compared him to Claude Osteen in the past as a 'perfect' #3), but he's just getting slapped senseless this year. It might be time to go back a step to AAA & regain some confidence in his pitches.

Posted by: BinM | June 15, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I've got to wonder if Lannan is hurting again. He looked good for a while after skipping a start, but has been putrid against the Indians and Tigers. Maybe we'll be seeing Detwiler in the rotation sooner than expected. I agree that Lannan should never have come out for the 5th; he was getting hammered and it was just a matter of time before a ball left the park.

Posted by: p-man | June 15, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

This game might as well be over. Blame this L squarely on poor starting pitching.

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 15, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Hope Wang and Detwiler will be available before things really go south.
************************************

We're accelerating rapidly in that direction, braking only temporarily when SS pitches.

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 15, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I guess the Fangraphs people are right. It appears Lannan was having above average success given his ability for the past couple years.

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | June 15, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-ya know my last bit of "kumbya" drivel ?....basically saying "be nice",y'all? Well...I ain't advocating attacking one another here on a personal level but.....all you scorched earthers? Bring out the flamethrowers! Now, I've only scanned the prior entries...and we're not getting killed tonight...but Lannan? As an ACE? Look, I'm a big supporter of his (like there's anyone on the team I'm not, huh?)-but send him down.
PLUS-More 1st pitch outs...as soon as we fall behind. What IS our "hitting" philosophy?
More runners lob....and more pre-game chirping (after FINALLY scoring some runs in our prior game) about how "we really have a good offense-we just haven't put it together yet (Ian).ARRRRGGGGHHHH........
We seem to have a corner on #5/6 starters....
FIRE EVERYONE ...except for Teddy!!!
O.K., .....thanks, Gang....I needed that.
Now...remember-it's a long season....and we're so much better...and so and so is gonna hit/hit with risp/field/pitch/base run/switch/blahblahblah...they're just slumping a bit! Just like my posts!....
Man!!!! I love this game-AND all of your comments-really-sooooooo
Go Nats!!!!

Posted by: zendo | June 15, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

It's taken me time to come to this conclusion but the Nats are indeed the worst team in the NL East.

All of the other teams compete with teams we lose to.

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | June 15, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo says he has 5 major league arms currently in the rotation. I guess Mike has been only watching games every 5th day. Come on Rizz its time to say adios to Lannen the guy has had his day and its been night time every since OD! Oh boy if they couldn't beat Scherzer at 2-6 imagine how well they will do against Verlander. Mark it down, Livo baffles them thru 4, runs into some trouble in the 5th and implodes in the 6th. On Thursday Atilano gets blasted in the first and that will be all she wrote. I can see it as clear as day!

They need major league pitchers not nibblers, change up artist and soft tossers!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | June 15, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Lannan has only one more strikeout compared to Strasburg, so Strasburg will eclipse him in the first inning on Friday. That's pretty pathetic, and it means Lannan depends on getting outs on balls put into play, which he's not getting. It's not too hard for professional hitters to tee off on someone who nibbles like he does. Atilano does the same thing to a degree, but hopefully he'll have a good game tomorrow. I'm not too optimistic right now...

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 15, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I thought this game was winnable until the bats fell silent. It's like the homer in the 5th took all the air out of the team. It could have been a lot worse, though. If I were a Tigers fan I'd be wondering how on earth they only scored 7 runs tonight. The Nats could have easily given up their highest run total of the season. Maybe the heart of our order can connect with a few 100 mph Verlander fastballs tomorrow.

Posted by: p-man | June 15, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm so sick of hearing about how many major league pitchers we have, and what a good offense we have, and what an improved defense we have. Take away a good April and the 20-15 start, and the two Strasburg games, and we're no better than last year. No starting pitching, terrible defense = lousy baseball. I'm sick of Dibble, Rizzo, Riggleman, Knight and Holliday acting surprised. We stink. Again.

Posted by: dlombardo1 | June 15, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Post-game thoughts: Nice work from Walker tonight, in relief of Lannan. Guzman in the #1 spot, not so good. Morgan was suprisingly good from the #2 slot early, but faded late, as did the rest of the lineup.

The team had a couple of chances tonight, but gave them right back. Oh, well, there's always tomarrow.

Posted by: BinM | June 15, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Lannan is hurt. there is no other explanation.

Posted by: Tom8 | June 15, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Lannan (like half our staff) needs to work it out in the Minors. Competitive baseball teams can't keep getting these inconsistent performances.

Posted by: curz | June 15, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

One more thing...I want to see this same lineup tomorrow. No Wil Nieves, no Willie Harris, no Adam Kennedy. I could live with AG perhaps playing 2B and Guzman DHing if Riggs goes that route. It's going to be tough enough as it is, and we need our best lineup in there.

Posted by: thepostischeap | June 15, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Lannan has completely lost whatever it is that he had the last two years. Shut him down until the all star break at the least.


The only starting pitchers worth a damn on this team are Livo and Strasburg. We need to make a move and get another pitcher. It's still not too late to make a run at this thing, but for whatever reason the Nats brass are content with missing the playoffs. I find that unacceptable. We're wasting a sublime bullpen (and I know Clipp/Storen are young, but lets face it, bullpens are so shaky from year to year, you never know what you'll have in the future). Our 3-4-5 guys are mashing. We really are one bat and about 1-2 SPs away from being right in the pennant race. Would still love to see what it takes to pry Oswalt from Houston.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | June 15, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm so sick of hearing about how many major league pitchers we have, and what a good offense we have, and what an improved defense we have. Take away a good April and the 20-15 start, and the two Strasburg games, and we're no better than last year. No starting pitching, terrible defense = lousy baseball. I'm sick of Dibble, Rizzo, Riggleman, Knight and Holliday acting surprised. We stink. Again.

*************************************

Is this guy serious? Let me do you one better -- if you take away all the wins, which were clearly flukes, we're even WORSE than last year! And if you ignore the tasty part of a doughnut, all you're left with is a hole.

Posted by: HenryStin | June 15, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Per tonight's broadcast, it's Livo tomorrow rather than Atilano, if that helps any.

I've also wondered whether Lannan is injured.

---

Atilano does the same thing to a degree, but hopefully he'll have a good game tomorrow. I'm not too optimistic right now...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 15, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

You have to think Lannans' elbow is not right. I don't know anything about medicine or physiology but it seems like there should be some way to test an elbow or shoulder or whatever to determine it's soundness. Of course clubs can never reveal a physical problem until it reaches DL proportions but it seems cruel to keep sending a player out until a breakdown occurs. On the other hand, players have been known to conceal injuries. Either way, these things have to have a discouraging impact on a team.

Posted by: Natmeister | June 15, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

You have to think Lannans' elbow is not right. I don't know anything about medicine or physiology but it seems like there should be some way to test an elbow or shoulder or whatever to determine it's soundness. Of course clubs can never reveal a physical problem until it reaches DL proportions but it seems cruel to keep sending a player out until a breakdown occurs. On the other hand, players have been known to conceal injuries. Either way, these things have to have a discouraging impact on a team.

Posted by: Natmeister | June 15, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

You have to think Lannans' elbow is not right. I don't know anything about medicine or physiology but it seems like there should be some way to test an elbow or shoulder or whatever to determine it's soundness. Of course clubs can never reveal a physical problem until it reaches DL proportions but it seems cruel to keep sending a player out until a breakdown occurs. On the other hand, players have been known to conceal injuries. Either way, these things have to have a discouraging impact on a team.

Posted by: Natmeister | June 15, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the triple post -- an uncontrolled finger spasm. Must have ligament damange.

Posted by: Natmeister | June 15, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

He(Lannan) can't stand prosperity in almost every start the offense has given him a lead and he goes right back out the next inning and gives up 1-3 runs and it all starts with him walking batters or giving up hits to hitters batting below the Mendoza line(Laird&Rabum) that is inexcusable he needs to learn how to bear down he's a bumm.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 15, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

People, if you really don't think this team is better than last year, you're nuts. They just have flaws, like most teams. Lannan could be hurt, he could be in a slump or the hitters may have figured him out. You have to keep trying him for a while to find out.

Here's the challenge: they do need more starting pitching. But they're not going to get Oswalt, because they don't have enough spare prospects to land him. The other options out there aren't really any better than Olsen and Marquis, if they're healthy. They might be healthy soon. But they might not. I think Rizzo has to sweat it out for the next month and then see where he is with Detwiler, Olsen, Marquis and Wang. They might solve his problem. But they might not.

Problems like that are why the man's bald.

Posted by: baltova1 | June 15, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

This year's team and last year's team (after the trading deadline) are almost exactly the same team -- except for the bullpen and Strasburg (and subtraction of Dukes). The bullpen this year is solid and Strasburg is magical. That raises the Nats to an almost-.500 team, which is pretty amazingly damn good.

They might very well improve by 20-plus wins in a single year. If you're going to whine about that and say that "nothing's changed, Nats suck," then you need to stop posting on the Internet and start calling in to sports talk radio where your idiocy is more ephemeral and not preserved for posterity.

Posted by: Snopes1 | June 16, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

The Nats don't suck. Their 3-5 pitchers, the batting (lessee, our "franchise player" watches as strike three comes right down the plate...TWICE!!!) the defense (how many errors? Oh...yeah, the Nats are leading the whole F'n major leagues in this category!) sucks.

Except for Strasburg, the Nats are a mediocre team. And I for one have to face that fact.

Posted by: M20832 | June 16, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Why not start Gonzales in place of Guzman? Better defense, equivalent average and power.
I liked tonight's lineup with Morse playing first and Dunn DHing--especially the way he fielded the ground ball at first.

Lannan is a problem. No doubts there. How many more starts like this do we get to bear witness to?

Posted by: driley | June 16, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

FWIW, I like Livo starting today, if only to break Verlander's rhythm with some exceptionally long top-halves of innings. That 2.28 ERA doesn't hurt either.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | June 16, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Yes the Nats have improved, but the initial successes so far this season should not mask what is a fundamentally flawed lineup. You have 3 AAA starting pitchers, a crafty veteran, and then you have SS. Not much there - you have a shot at 2 out of 5. The bullpen certainly is the most improved part of the team, although Capps is just a stopgap you still need a closer. The everyday lineup IMO is only slightly improved and most of those improvements have come from players who are not part of the future (Pudge). There are no position players ready to help in the minors - that area still needs depth and development. Rizzo need to continue to focus on what it takes to make this a contending team, and doing anything (like getting Oswalt, etc) is irresponsible. The Nats are not a contending team, no way no how. You have major holes in RF, Catcher, 2B, and CF and you need to concentrate on getting good young talent to fill those holes. They know who the core players are and they're not named Dunn, Guzman, or Willingham - make some trades.

Posted by: bendersx6 | June 16, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Lannan is hurt. there is no other explanation.

Posted by: Tom8

The hitters aren't swinging at stuff off the plate anymore, and the umps aren't calling it either. Lannan admitted himself that the hitters weren't going for the balls. He's screwed, they've caught up to him.

Posted by: Brue | June 16, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Tom8 is right, he's hurt. He was effective after the cortisone shot, now it's worn off and he's getting shelled.

Time to shut him down, bring back Chico and try to hold on until Detwiler is ready.

Posted by: sjt1455 | June 16, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Whatever it is with Lannan, the idea that he just has to keep going out there until he gets it corrected is scary.

Another problem last night was the offense shutting down after the 4th. Every once in a while, it would be good to see the offense come back and take a game like last night's.

Posted by: KenNat | June 16, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Time to shut him down, bring back Chico and try to hold on until Detwiler is ready.

Posted by: sjt1455

This is some quality comedy.

Posted by: Brue | June 16, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

This is some quality comedy.

Posted by: Brue


Yeah...it's a black comedy. Not much smiling or laughing.

Posted by: M20832 | June 16, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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