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Game 70 discussion thread: Nationals vs. White Sox

First off, Happy Father's Day to everyone -- especially Kent Kilgore, the best and hardest-working man I know. The Nationals and White Sox, like every team across baseball, will wear a sky blue ribbon decal on their jersey today in support of prostate cancer awareness.

Secondly, man, could the Nationals use a win. Their five-game losing streak -- and 11 wins since May 15 -- have created significant seperation between them and the rest of the National League East. For the first time, the Nationals woke up 10 games out of first place.
They're also 8.5 games out of second, and even the fourth-place Florida Marlins have a 1.5 game edge.

"We need to hit our hot spell," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "We haven't really done that. It's on us to close the gap in the division. If he don't get hot, we're not going to close the gap. Talking about it or being concerned doesn't accomplish anything. You've got to go play good baseball."

That falls today to John Lannan, who believes he has figured out the problem that caused him to go south in his last two starts. Lannan has been dropping his arm lower than usual during his delivery, a remnant from the soreness he experienced in his elbow tendon. The pain is no longer there, but Lannan has been subconsiously going back to the movement that helped alleviate the pain when he was hurt.

His adjustment will be to throw with a higher arm slot. Against Freddy Garcia, we'll see how it goes. Talk about the game right here. And feel free to leave a Father's Day message, too.

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 20, 2010; 1:35 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Nationals' offensive problems start at the top
Next: John Lannan will stay in the Nationals rotation


Nyjer ran that down, good job

Posted by: Sunderland | June 20, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

First off, Happy Father's Day everyone,now Dibble just pointed out something that i said last year about Zimm he stand's too far off the plate and is a sitting duck for a pitcher who knows how to work the corners i don't know why Eckstein has not pointed that out to Zimm i know he is a good hitter but he could be the toughest out in the league if he would move in a little closer.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 20, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Garcia is not a strikeout pitcher, yet he has three in the first six outs; Go figure.

Posted by: BinM | June 20, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Garcia is a #5SP, posing as a #3 - Maybe they can get to him the 2nd time through the lineup, But five K's in two innings makes one doubt.

Posted by: BinM | June 20, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Hits, runs! Wahoo. Nieves should be required to hit only to right field. He has lots of liners out that way this year. Fine him if he tries to pull the ball.

Posted by: marathoner | June 20, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Happy Dad's day dargramps.

Posted by: BinM | June 20, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

10th hit in the 4th against Lannan - Ans he's done for the day (and maybe beyond).

Posted by: BinM | June 20, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Another Lannan 10 hitter, this time he got it done in 4. Sooooo tired of watching him throw BP. And he's at his worst when given a lead. It's really time to make a change, he ain't getting any better.

Posted by: Natmeister | June 20, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I would send Lannan's azz right to Syracuse i don't care who they bring up, it is absolutely inexcuesable for Lannan to come right out after his teamates give him a lead and with poor pitch selection give up three runs stupid,stupid,stupid, and if i hear Carpenter talk about Lannan's ground ball effectiveness one more time i'm gonna scream!!.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 20, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Don't know if Lannan has any options left, but it's that, the DL (he should be hoping he needs surgery) or DFA. Starting him again is conceding defeat in advance. The league has caught up to his scheme and he has no way to counter it -- and no speed to pitch inside. They'll start him through the break though -- that's 4-5 guaranteed losses.

Posted by: grclarkdc1 | June 20, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

So Rigs seems to have run out of ideas to jump-start the hitting.

Wonder if he (or Rizzo) has any ideas on how to improve the starting pitching? Or will it be, "We've got to keeo running John out there every five days until he gets started"?

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | June 20, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Lannan needs to go to SYR now, to either get his head straight, or to prove he's healthy. Bring Stammen back up & work out the rotation (Strasburg-Livo-Atilano-Stammen-Martin).
Until Lannan gets his sinker back, he's a BP pitcher, imo.

Posted by: BinM | June 20, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

It's really hard for me to believe that Lannan isn't hurt. He was lucky to have given up 1 run through 4 innings, and once again Riggleman was too stubborn to take him out. It seems that, like last year, they are a team that finds a way to lose. I wasn't expecting a .500 season this year, but for the last month they're not much better than they were under Acta last year. If they start Lannan again, I'll question the management's committment to winning games. They're not doing him any favors by running him out there every five games when something's obviously wrong. If something doesn't change, we're going to start seeing crowds of less than 10,000 when Strasburg isn't pitching.

Posted by: p-man | June 20, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-PITIFUL, JUST Jed Clampett used to say. Jeez...I got lots to say...but I'm too discouraged. Once again-for all the bromides about long season, never as bad as you look, blah blah blah-we just look...uninspired. I mean, c'mon guys-you GOT your shiny new toys (Storen and Stras) and you.....well, mebbe with all the national attention, the Lerners will be shamed into providing a FEW more pieces to this....right now, so much missing I can't even call it a puzzle.
Yes, I'm bitter right now. Got a long (winded)post coming but right now....I think I'll go see Rick Eckstein to tighten it up. Or McCatty.
Go Nats

Posted by: zendo | June 20, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

If he's out of options he can still accept a minor league assignment if DFA'ed. Would probalby be best to go DL and do some rehab starts in the minors. To keeps sending him out there with that sutff is too demoralizing for everyone, including him. I wish just once a player would step up say "I'm not right, let me work it out in the minors" but I guess that doesn't happen.

Posted by: Natmeister | June 20, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

And what is Rigs doing calling for a sac by Guzman? Way to squander a precious out. And if you can't trust Morgan to steal in that situation, why is he batting leadoff? Then he's just another .250 singles hitter, not a top-of-the-order guy.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | June 20, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

John Lannan is a AAAA pitcher (at best). In general, he doesn't strike out many but walks quite a few (today he actually improved on a K/BB ratio which is <1 this season - considered awful). He doesn't make enough batters swing and miss, and this is finally catching up to him. If he is part of the long term future of this team, things aren't looking good.

Posted by: amrkhani | June 20, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I've never played baseball beyond little league, and never been involved in any competitive sport beyond college (cross-country, which is less of a team sport), but I don't get trying to keep going out there when it's clear to everyone else besides that player that something isn't right. Lannan's teammates deserve better; he just doesn't seem healthy. Remember that Marquis insisted nothing was wrong until he went on DL, and he's still a ways from coming back. I really wanted to be proven wrong about Lannan today, but he's stunk it up three games in a row. I wasn't that impressed with Stammen while he was up, but maybe it's time to give him another chance. And since they're still just two runs down, go Nats! Let's come back and win this one!

Posted by: p-man | June 20, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

CapPeterson1: I too was saying WTF on Guzman's attempted drag bunt or whatever he just took the guy deep for a triple what in the hell do you have him bunting for? again Riggleman over managing and Zimm? see this is where a F.Robby type of skipper is needed someone who played the game at a high level who can maybe sit down with Zimm and evaluate his at bats i swear i don't see Eck or Riggs in that capacity.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 20, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

At some point you think they have to cut bait with Lannan. He's never had overpowering stuff, always pithces to contact so he needs pinpoint location and good defense. He was the best they had the past 3 years but now he is totally ineffective. Has no curve, no cutter, just a sinker and a changeup. How hard is that to replace? Maybe Matt Chico should be given another chance. I get the feeling they have been trying to hang on until some of the walking wounded return but I don't see how they can keep going with Lannan. Stammen struggled in the early innings but at least he got better as the game progressed.

Posted by: Natmeister | June 20, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

CapPete - Right on. Nyjer can't be counted on to steal against their backup catcher?
Pierzynski throws out 28%, Castro 2 for 8, 25% on the season. We can't be giving up outs for a lack of normal baseball skills, that is having our leadoff guy, our speed guy, our basestealing threat need a sacrifice to move him into scoring position.

And yeah, sorry to see Lannan struggle, but it's telling about the state of our rotation that 5 games from now, he'll probably climb the hill again while we all sigh and hope for the best.

The cavalry (Wang, Detwiler, Marquis, Zimmermann) is going to be too late, and frankly, not good enough.

Posted by: Sunderland | June 20, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Sad to see this happen to Lannan, who carried the rotation the last two years. He may be hurt or he may just not be able to get batters to chase the stuff the way they did the last two years. Either way, he needs to show something better soon.

As for this: "The cavalry (Wang, Detwiler, Marquis, Zimmermann) is going to be too late, and frankly, not good enough."

Too late for what, the playoff run that wasn't going to happen anyway? And not good enough? Zimmermann is one of the best prospects in baseball. Detwiler's a decent option for a #3-4 starter and Marquis was a double figure winner before getting hurt. Wang was a 19-game winner twice before he got hurt (I don't expect anything from him, but you never know).

Throw a few of those guys into a rotation with Strasburg and Livan and the rest and that's a much improved group. There's reason for hope there; it's just not going to help us much for the next couple of weeks.

Posted by: baltova1 | June 20, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-I agree with everyone.Waiting for even JayB and Doveline so's I can reluctantly or partially agree with the blowtorching! At work last night, a pal said "Hey, you guys are getting there. Just gotta be patient...". He's from Oakland-an A's fan. Now, patience might be a trait he has more of than i do, but as I pointed out_IT"S BEEN 6 YEARS!! OUR OWNERS ARE THE WEALTHIEST IN AMERICAN TEAM SPORTS!!! TOP 10 MEDIA MARKET!!! And in what's turning into perhaps a new "Pitchers Era" in MLB-we got a bunch of slow pitch beer league softball tossers.
Jeez (sorry, Stras), bring up McDougal and have our relievers each go an inning or two each game-no starters! And for all the talk about a winning attitude/good chemistry....well, reaching .500-albeit briefly- ain't a reason to feel like you're winning.......and go talk to Leyland...
SIGH..mebbe it's the heat-my AC is out.
OK,,,I'll try'n collect myself...listen to you all to cheer me up with Schadenfreude, huh?
We need more horses-heck, ponies!!!
In the field, too.....Ah, Shite....
Go Nats!

Posted by: zendo | June 20, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

add Willie "K Street" Harris to the DFA list.

Posted by: grclarkdc1 | June 20, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Putting in Willie Harris to pinch hit = "We give up, you win." Forget the lefty-right matchup, Pudge or Morse would have been the better choice. Not likely they'd win anyway, but they need to try until the last out.

Posted by: p-man | June 20, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

What a pitiful effort, completely overmatched by AL teams. Other than Strasburg there's really no compelling reason to watch this team, other than masochism. Wonder what, if anything, they will do to shake things up. Morgan, Kennedy and Harris are complete zeroes and when was the last time Dunn had a meaningful HR?

Posted by: Natmeister | June 20, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Starting to feel like the post-'97 O's ... Mussina, Mussina, and nothin' in-betweena.

Posted by: reddog278 | June 20, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

They can DL Lannan (PLEASE) and not need another pitcher until next week. Detwiler should be ready, albeit not more than 5 innings. Otherwise spot start for Chico and delay Dewtiler one more start.

I agree there is no reason to continue to start Lannan. And there is no reason for him to deny his arm's not right.

Posted by: sjt1455 | June 20, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Another pathetic game. Another loss. Did anybody see Riggleman's interview after the game? The one where he was asked about putting in Mike Morse instead of slow hand Willy? He says:We needed base runners. If I wanted a homerun, I would have put Morse in. WHATTHEF????? How can this guy be a manager with this type of thinking????
He needed RUNS!! You put in your best hitters to PH, not your worst!
Me thinks the Nats need a Manager that can win at a higher level. Cause this just sux.

Posted by: M20832 | June 20, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman and his staff had better turn this around and the Lerners being so cheap is comming back to haunt this team, still think Adam Kennedy is better than Orlando Hudson? and the Jason Marquis trade is becomming laughable,along with Wang Rizzo doesn't look so smart right now. The Brave's had a nine game losing streak earlier this season but they have some things we don't like starting pitching and clutch hitting and with the Royals comming to town(they can hit!)this could be another rough week.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 20, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse


Too late for what? To not have this season fall to ruin.

"Detwiler's a decent option for a #3-4 starter and Marquis was a double figure winner before getting hurt."

Detwiler? Based on what, an ERA of 5.00, a WHIP of 1.89, a BAA of .289?
I'll grant you that I'm hoping he's a decent 3-4 as well, but counting on that is folly.

Marquis? A decent 4 -5 nothing more. He's pitched for good teams his whole career, and more often than not then gets left off the playoff roster.

So going into next year, in general we all feel good about Stasburg and Zimmermann.
But after that, we're somewhere between a hope and a prayer.

Reason to hope? Yes.
Not going to help for the next couple weeks? An understatement if there ever was one.

Posted by: Sunderland | June 20, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

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