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Game 105 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Phillies

Some time this past week, Manager Jim Riggleman spoke with Class AA Harrisburg Manager Randy Knorr about John Lannan. "He looks the same as last year," Knorr told him -- the sink had returned to his fastball. Knorr felt Lannan's pedestrian statistics -- 1-4 with a 4.20 ERA -- in six rehab starts were misleading. Defensive plays weren't made, minor league umpires weren't helping.

The Nationals hope they're getting back the pitcher they thought they were starting opening day, not the left-hander who posted a 5.76 ERA for the first 2 1/2 months of the season. Lannan will try to solve his struggles against the Phillies, against whom he is 0-7 with a 6.75 ERA in his career.

Lannan will oppose Cole Hamels, who's on a roll right now. In his past four starts, Hamels has allowed four earned runs in 27 2/3 innings, a 1.30 ERA. If the Nationals can solve him, they'll earn their first sweep of the Phillies since baseball returned to Washington. As it stands right now, they're 0 for 32 in trying to sweep Philadelphia. They'll also have a winning record against the Phillies this year with a victory.

Talk about the game right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  August 1, 2010; 1:20 PM ET
 
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Next: Justin Maxwell back with Nationals, Atahualpa Severino to Syracuse

Comments

Lannan has never beaten the Phils,and has an ERA of almost seven,with Sharon Martis toiling away at Syracuse with a better arm why would you start a lollipop throwing lefty like Lannan if you're trying for the sweep?

Posted by: dargregmag | August 1, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Might have to switch over to Charlie and Dave. Not sure if I want to look at those fat Philly turds behind home plate.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 1, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Paging Mr. Batista

Posted by: Kev29 | August 1, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Paging SeƱor Ramos

Posted by: Kev29 | August 1, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Great job by CB Bucknor...

Posted by: amo36 | August 1, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lannan, Thanks for what you've done for this team, now please move out of the way and let someone pitch who can keep his team in the game.

Guess those minor league stats weren't so misleading Mr. Knorr.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | August 1, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

This game has laugher written all over it,i mean what did Lannan do at AA or wherever he was to merit another start,this is the kind of mindset by certain people and coach's on this team that will continue to make losing the order of the day.

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

Is there something in Lannan's contract that might have prompted a recall? Adam mentioned the 30 day max for Z'nn's rehab - is there something like that going on here. Even so, why not put him in the pen for awhile.

Nice play, Desi

Posted by: Kev29 | August 1, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Lannan returns to the rotation against PHI - Same old, same old so far. Lots of pitches, trouble getting the 3rd out, & Runs against early. There's just no sharpness on his pitches so far - I hope he lasts 5IP.

Posted by: BinM | August 1, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I think this start represents a combination of respect for what he's done in the past and a key test of whether he has a future here. With J. Zimm, Marquis and Maya on the way, not to mention Strasburg coming back and Olsen and Detwiler just getting in the rotation, there is going to be significant competition for starting spots. If you don't show something when you get the chance, you may not get another chance until spring training.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 1, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Don't really know why Johnny Boy is starting, but to have any chance of returning permanently to an MLB rotation he has to become a Gold Glove fielding pitcher--a real 5th infielder. So many hard-hit ground baslls against him he has to flag down almost everything hit up the middle.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | August 1, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of Lannan, right now we need to wake up the bats and string some hits together. It's smoke and mirrors and some really good defense behind him, but he is keeping us in the game.
so far.........

Posted by: Ivantuski | August 1, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I like the lineup other than pitcher. See if we can get some runs.

Posted by: bamabug | August 1, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Still thrilled to have Dunn, but he's got to have a more professional at bat there.

Posted by: OldNumber3 | August 1, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

@Cap:
That's pretty much how Kaat, G.Maddux, & even Livo have lived as many lives as they did. Throw ground-ball pitches, field your position, and hope the defense supports your efforts.

Don't know that Lannan has that kind of longevitity in him without a 2nd out pitch; Only time will tell, I suppose.

Posted by: BinM | August 1, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Ugh, 5 K's in arow for the Hammer. He needs to get that outside strike. Rung up twice last night and once today on called strikes on the outer edge.

Posted by: Natmeister | August 1, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Another tough error charged to Desmond. Same as last night, Dunn's bad footwork costs them.

Posted by: Natmeister | August 1, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Be nice if he could learn to take those balls out to right like Zim does. I don't recall him hitting to right very often.

Posted by: marathoner | August 1, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Doomed, we're doomed. How could they possibly think Lannan could get anybody out!? What a bum!
Oh, wait--he's pitching a good game? They're tied? Just struck out the side in the fifth??

Buffet line for crow starts on the right, fellas.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 1, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

How's that for grit! Go, Johnny, go!

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | August 1, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Nice recovery by Lannan, esp. after both home plate and third base umpires missed strike 3 on Brown. Not exactly dominating but he gave them a chance to win.

Posted by: Natmeister | August 1, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Good to see JL getting both his technique and his swagger back. Good stuff.

Posted by: reddog278 | August 1, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Get Batista & Slaten ready - Lannan is at 96 pitches & pretty much done, imo.

Posted by: BinM | August 1, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Why are we still short a position player? Carrying an extra pitcher? If so, probably better than bringing up Maxwell's bat. Livo probably has a higher BA.

Posted by: Natmeister | August 1, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Well Lannan's making me out of a liar(i'll glady take it)nice work in the fifth,looks like he's done as the Rubber Band Man(Bautista)is getting ready.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 1, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

BALTOVA...You may be absolutely correct on why Lannan is starting to get a final look at him....

I know some pitchers have been good pinch hitters in the past but if you have to rely on Hernandez as your best I am at a loss for words...doesn't show much confidence for others on the bench...

Just viewing the game in the 5th..hope the first went without being scored upon for a change..

Posted by: pentagon40 | August 1, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Someone please enlighten me..Why take Lannan or others out after 5...unless Lannan says he is tired...if our starters can't go 7 then they are not starters...more like long relievers...after a while a pitcher will get a mental thing of going only 5 knowing he will be relieved...or going 6 at the most..Just asking....Inquiring minds want to know....

Posted by: pentagon40 | August 1, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

@pentagon40:
Lannan was at 96 pitches through 5IP; Even though he finished with 3K's(!), he was about done.

Posted by: BinM | August 1, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Dunn stopped and said something to Zim after crossing the plate. Love to know what he said.

Posted by: marathoner | August 1, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

"See, little boy? THAT'S a home run."

Posted by: gilbertbp | August 1, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

And Dunn takes another one straight down the line for a 4-2 Nationals lead (sign Dunn now).

Posted by: BinM | August 1, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I think 5 was all Riggs wanted from Lannan, Batista was fresh and ready from there

Posted by: Kev29 | August 1, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"See, little boy? THAT'S a home run."

Posted by: gilbertbp | August 1, 2010 3:21 PM
------------------------------------------
Good one. But Zim's shot straight out to center was no slouch.

Posted by: marathoner | August 1, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

BinM..Tks for the response...I understand the pitch count for Lannan but 96 pitches for a starter shouldn't be a critical point...if so he will never complete 7 innings...They let Livan go further, why not others...Make them PROVE they are starters...even Whitey Ford went 7 and was routinely relieved by Arroyo...oh sorry, that was before many posters time...

Posted by: pentagon40 | August 1, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Zimm. should have thrown home on that play...had the runner even after he fielded the ball...

Posted by: pentagon40 | August 1, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Hope the second desmond error doesn't lose the game for us. Sigh.

Posted by: amorris525 | August 1, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

@pentagon40:
Lannan is what he is - A soft-tossing LHSP. Not directly comparable to Ford, who had a nice fastball to go along with a wicked curve (his out pitch, IIRC). And yeah, a suprising number of us on this board are old enough to remenber.

Posted by: BinM | August 1, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Ugh, leadoff walk and failed DP turn. Zim probably should have charged the ball and taken the big hop.

Posted by: Natmeister | August 1, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

BinM..Thanks, you gave me the term I was looking for Lanhan, soft-tossing....and is what he is...a good guy and sure he is giving it his all, just hope it's enough to keep him with the club but with all the young arms trying to impress, it's going to be a dogfight to survive...

Posted by: pentagon40 | August 1, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Sure would be nice to have a sweep and a definite booster for the club along with the great crowds this weekend...

Posted by: pentagon40 | August 1, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Seen a lot of bunters over the years but Nyjer is truly an artist at it...other guys who have speed should be more dedicated to learning how to better...coupled with speed this is an invaluable asset to a team....

Posted by: pentagon40 | August 1, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Sure would be nice to have a sweep and a definite booster for the club along with the great crowds this weekend...

Posted by: pentagon40 | August 1, 2010 4:31 PM

The only people who would call these crowds 'great' would be the Lerners financial advisors. 2/3 full of Philly trash is nothing to brag about. Though the Nats fans at the park this weekend have been vocal.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 1, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Why not have Morgan steal instead of Bernadina bunt him over? Is our speedster that bad? WE CANNOT GIVE OUTS AWAY!!!

Riggs continues to manage like he is playing strat-o-matic. We give up an out to have Willie Harris hit, so essentially we give up 2 outs to have Dunn try to drive in a 2 out run which he hasn't been able to do all season. It's like Riggleman doesn't even know who is playing for him, he's just sitting in the dugout hoping double switches and R-L matchups are all that matter.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | August 1, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Though the Nats fans at the park this weekend have been vocal.
Posted by: Kev29

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

Was listening to most of the game on the road, I expected the loud philthies fans to be dominating the cheers, but was heartened to hear the Nats fans representing a strong counter-cheer. Much better than in WAS/PHI(lth) games' past!

Posted by: NatAlbert | August 1, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Tough loss, but at least the scum are getting back on their buses and will be back in whatever dumpy Philly suburbs they live in soon enough. They'll be back again late next month - hopefully out of the playoff race.

Posted by: Kev29 | August 1, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I bet Stan Kasten is happy today he did not want his best friends to go home unhappy three days in a row. Because that's Stan's plan

Posted by: CBinDC | August 1, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Riggleman has to go! Bring back Manny Acta.

Posted by: bobilly2 | August 1, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Badly undermanned, Filthies manage to salvage a game. Shame that we can't beat them again minus Utley, Howard, Victorino, and Ibanez.

Agree w. SCNatsfan analysis.

Good effort by Johnny Boy but we've got too many 5-inning SPs in our rotation. Forces us to use an 8-man bullpen, including one Collin Ballester. Is it too much to hope that, amongst the incoming cavalry, one of them can routinely go 7 innings, a la Cole Hamel?

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | August 1, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

All in all, a very good homestand. Sure, we all would have liked a sweep, almost. The big thing is to have some success on the road. The DBacks won't be that easy, if you saw what they did to the Mets today, then the Dodgers, who are trending downward. GO NATS

Posted by: cokedispatch | August 1, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-well....another almost. After being relieved that we kept Adam....after being carried away by the sentiment expressed by Mark over at Insider of "..giving this core a chance...", and after happily agreeing with RZims' sentiments about being "almost there"....well, once again that gnawing sense that this is-however sincere, etc..-a group that is just too satisfied with the notion of being close. Happy with the friendships. The team chemistry.But unfamiliar with what it takes to actually Get The Job Done!
And when I see Ian, after another 2 error game, being interviewed and asked to assess the teams performance (and Lannans!?! Jeez, how would HE know! He was in the minors when John was pitching well).....Well, once more I'm beating the same drum. Now,a few passing points ...
Was that you, dargreg (Mac?) on the radio a second ago? (Also NatsJack in J'ville, Fla.)
I think Ramos' lack of AAA hitting is a product of his time (albeit short) in the Big Show. He's convinced he belongs here and is a tad...distracted? Seems I recall Flores doing the same prior to his recall.
I think the Rizz is giving Lannan his "make or break" shot (instead of calling on Chico). He's basically been the same in AA, so time to see if he can fish...or to cut bait....
And finally...haven't won on Sunday since June 13th. Total of 5 Sunday wins all year.
Well....I'm sure I'll have plenty more to add later...and probably I'll disagree with myself!
Go Nats!!1

Posted by: zendo | August 1, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Nats lack of quality starting pitching that can go 7 innings consistently is now showing with an overworked bullpen. You can't be too surprised that the bullpen couldn't hold the league two games in a row when they were essentially asked to pitch 4 plus innings. Minus Capps at the back end and an inconsistent Clippard, the Nats now are relying on a journeyman (Peralta) and rookie (Storen) to close out games. That's a recipe for disaster for a team that is always playing 1 and 2 run games.

The Hammer is either in a major slump or teams have figured out how to get him out. The number of strikeouts and lack of contact since the All-Star break is amazing after his strong first half. The Nats should sit him for a couple of games and get Morse some AB's.

Posted by: wizfan89 | August 1, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

what drives me crazy about lannan...instead of taking the mound with the confidence that one should have to pitch (at any level of baseball) - his vibe screams..or squeaks--"i hope you don't hit it too far." drives me CRAZY....oh- and doesn't he look like the kid that used to crawl thru doogie howser's window?

Posted by: earthling | August 1, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I second Zendo's comment about Ian. I guess if they go up to him and ask a question he has to answer it but he sure does more than his fair share of interviews. And I think he needs to go to winter ball. I'm not sure just practive is enough, he needs to get used to the real life situations he has problems with.

Posted by: marathoner | August 1, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

wizfan89:I think you're right about JWill he's not even making contact and he looks lost but will Riggleman sit him i doubt it after saturday night it would have been Morgan,Morse and Bernie in the of today,hopefully they can have a good road trip(DBacks/Dodgers) i'm looking for 4-2.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 1, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

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