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Game 131 discussion thread: Cardinals at Nationals

The Nationals (55-75) have another chance to make circumstances more challenging for the Cardinals (69-58) in their push for a spot in the postseason. St. Louis trails Cincinnati by four games for the NL Central lead and Philadelphia by two games for the wild card.

Starting for the Nationals will be left-hander John Lannan (5-6, 5.23 ERA), who is 3-1 this month. In his last start, Lannan gave up five runs, four earned, in five innings in a 5-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday. That was the first time in five outings this month he had allowed more than two earned runs.

Right-hander Adam Wainwright (17-8, 2.18) gets the start for St. Louis. Wainwright has yielded seven earned runs over his past two starts after permitting one in his first three outings this month.

Talk about the game here and check back after the final out for updates.

By Gene Wang  |  August 29, 2010; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  John Lannan  
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Next: Livan Hernandez gets contract extension

Comments

Nice job by Lannan to keep Pujols in the park and attack the strike zone.

Knight's sturggles with 21st century lexicon really tickles me -- two-oh-eight, no I mean twenty-oh-eight. That's OK Ray, we know what you mean.

Posted by: Natmeister | August 29, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

You've goota turn off the sound and get Charlie and Dave on the radio, IF, a big IFFFFF, you an get the signal from 1500 AM.

Posted by: dfh21 | August 29, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

OMG -- a hitting clinic by Lannan -- opposite field with funky spin to boot. Holladay nearly came out of his jock.

Posted by: Natmeister | August 29, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Michael Morse. En Fuego.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 29, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Yep, they're really exposing Morse now that he's playing regularly.

Posted by: gilbertbp | August 29, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Wow -- nice job by Morse to wait on the curve. Now seven hits in a row.

Posted by: Natmeister | August 29, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Morse will make a fine first baseman for a last place club in 2011.

Posted by: Brue | August 29, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Morse will make a fine first baseman for a last place club in 2011.

Posted by: Brue | August 29, 2010 2:36 PM

Why would we trade him to the Mets?

Posted by: baltova1 | August 29, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Morse looks to be starting another hot streak - Me likey.

Posted by: BinM | August 29, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Tight, balt.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 29, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

MOAR Morse! Now approaching the .300 mark again.

Posted by: periculum | August 29, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

By the end of the day they'll have Johnny Boy penciled into Strasburg's spot. Forget the free agents, the pitching will come to us.

Posted by: Brue | August 29, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

By the end of the day they'll have Johnny Boy penciled into Strasburg's spot. Forget the free agents, the pitching will come to us.
Posted by: Brue | August 29, 2010 2:46 PM
---------------
Go easy, Brue - Lannan was a #3 posing as a #1 in 2008 & 2009, 'cause he was the best the team had; We won't get fooled again, having seen what a real #1 looks like (Strasburg).

Posted by: BinM | August 29, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

...QUESTION...
I'm following along on MLB Gamecenter from work...They have Lannan last pitch, fastball that struck out Wainwright clocked at 93? That can't be right. Can anyone offer some insight into this? ..or has Lannan been juicing? I don't think he's ever thrown over 88...I'm stunned.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | August 29, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Naugatuck, some radar guns are "faster" than others, but Lannan does seem to have gained a few MPH over last year. IIRC, some of the speculation on why he started off poorly was based on his not adjusting well to that. Apparently, he figured it out in AA.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 29, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I want to know how many Nats fans there are in Waterbury/the Naugatuck valley? Especially ones dedicated enough to follow on Gamecenter . . .

Impressive.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 29, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

@Naugatuck:
Sounds like either a fast gun reading, or an anomaly - Lannan's usually around 88-90 with the fastball. He'll flirt with 91+ against good hitters, but why would he 'pump it up' against the opposing pitcher?

Posted by: BinM | August 29, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm - Gameday is tracking Lannan's fastball at between 88-93, with the higher numbers coming later in the game.

A "warning sign" to a possible elbow injury is a sudden increase in pitch speed; Something to keep an eye on, imo.

Posted by: BinM | August 29, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Sec3 - Looks like he's figured something out...I like it!

stevie_in_gp...Not many. Although I did see one other guy wearing a Curly W hat a few months ago. I nearly walked into a post when I did...

BinM...Why indeed. That's what threw me off so much. Lannan's always been a finesse guy who thrived on location and keeping hitters off guard. This new-found velocity could be a very nice addition.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | August 29, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Lannan must have gotten some type of arm enhancement while he was on the DL throwing in the low ninety's looking pretty sharp,here's hoping he can keep it up.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 29, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

OH MY GOD!!!!! Desmond makes a bonehead play; last out of the inning,Zimmerman next up,running on his own, should be benched DFA'd taken to the woodshed............................................. .

Posted by: dargregmag | August 29, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Nice try, darg...

Know when to say when...

Posted by: baltova1 | August 29, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Nice game by Lannan -- scattered the hits, kept the ball in the yard, got deep into the game and got 2 RBI's. And yeah, his fastball seems to be up there if the radar guns can be believed.

Posted by: Natmeister | August 29, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Amen, baltova1.

I'm trying to find something to complain about today, but not having much luck.

Like the way Rigs let Johnny Boy start the 8th. His decision to bench Nyjer and pay a morning visit to the Cards' clubhouse seems to have paid off also. IIRC, Cards used B. Phillips' remarks a few weeks ago as motivational material to sweep series. No such opportunity presented today.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | August 29, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm gonna complain about the umps. I despise this team.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 29, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

batlova1,CapPeterson; Obviously i was being sacastic relating everyone's over the top reaction to Nyjer's gaffe last night to Desmond.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 29, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

And I despise them because the allowed LaRussa to get out of that situation what he wanted to get out of it: disruption of the National's/Storen's roll. Cheap baseball.

AND then there's that.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 29, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Obvious ploy by LaRussa to disrupt a reliever. No way Storen was throwing at Holladay this time or the other night (bases loaded). Joe West got played like a fiddle. Surprising since he likes to run in a make an ejection.

Posted by: Natmeister | August 29, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

If Storen hit Holiday, why wasn't he awarded 1st base?

Posted by: geg42 | August 29, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Whew...after the error i had a bad feeling...Way to buckle down, Storen. Nice series win!

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | August 29, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Didn't hit him. Threw behind him.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 29, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Tony Larussa should be ashamed of himself bad enough you show up at a Glen Beck rally but to try and manipulate the ump's in that situation, if i were Storen i'd throw one into the dugout right at Larussa. Anyway nice win great job by Lannan.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 29, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Based on MASN post-game, it sounds like Ray is heading south to Florida. Dibs may be filing for unemployment soon.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | August 29, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

dargregmag, I got your "joke" the first time, which is why I wrote what I wrote. It might be time to rethink your fanboy crush on Nyjer Morgan. I think he went over a line last night, the team didn't like it, and he's not playing well enough to get away with it.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 29, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Solid start from Lannan, 4-out save from Storen. Took 3 of four from the Cardinals - Bang-Zoom, and put another curly W in the books!

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

Riggleman really is uber-deferential to LaRussa. Not a fan of that.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 29, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

@Soren:
Never fear, if Dibble does get 'punted' by MASN, I think he still has his XM-Sirius gig; At any measure, he won't starve, but he'll still be an idiot.

Posted by: BinM | August 29, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

@stevie:
Riggleman always tries to show respect to his mentors, the game, and his roster veterans. That's probably a big part of why he's viewed as a 'soft' or inadaquate manager at the MLB level by a chunk of the blogosphere. They may be right, or they may be wrong, but he's a 'stand-up' guy, imo.

Posted by: BinM | August 29, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

@BinM: Speaking of radio, I was driving through New England a couple of weeks ago. It was about 9 o'clock when I flipped on the radio (it was already tuned to AM 1500) and heard--crystal clear--Charlie and Dave. What a pleasant surprise. Gotta love AM radio at night.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | August 29, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Just before signing off MASN showed a small press get together with Rizzo and he announced Livo had signed a one year extension. We have one starter for next year. Presume Lannan is back for the indefinite future too.

Posted by: marathoner | August 29, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

B, I'm with you: I do think Riggleman is a stand-up guy.

But if you are disrespected by the other team or manager - as LaRussa did in attempting to get into Soren's head and break up his and the Nats rhythm - you must respond appropriately. I do not feel Riggleman did that. Do not allow that to go on for five minutes, as it did. And if you can't stand up for yourself during the game, you better not be deferential during the press conference. This is baseball, not a caste system.

No harm, no foul - Nats won, best way to answer criticism - but you must think, act, AND play as other than a Major League doormat before you cease to be one. And that goes for the manager, too, certainly.

The first principle is always stand up for your own team.

I like Riggleman, but that's just my take.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 29, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Now that Dunn's OPS is back up over .900, is he still a bum?

Posted by: EdDC | August 29, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

We all must agree that Livo has earned a contract extension, and the likely bargain price must have made it easier to pull of than a Dunn extension. I am unhappy that Dunn is swinging in the wind, but also appreciate that the team is thinking of its options.

So, let's leave Dunn behind for a single afternoon, and appreciate what Livo has meant for this team. I hope he will approximate this year's success next year, be a bridge to a successful career for Yunesky Maya, and an ambassador who brings other high-profile Latin-American players into the fold.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | August 29, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Was at the game. Totally agree LaRussa was just trying to play head games -- no way Storen is headhunting in that situation.

I thought Riggleman should have been more emphatic, even risking getting thrown out, to show support for his guy and not let the umpires think they could defer to LaRussa without getting called on it.

Posted by: Meridian1 | August 29, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm not quite sure how that works out in practice--"That guy is holding up the game, trying to distract us, so I'm going to stand here and argue, myself, and let him get ME thrown out." I dunno about that.

*******************
I thought Riggleman should have been more emphatic, even risking getting thrown out, to show support for his guy and not let the umpires think they could defer to LaRussa without getting called on it.
Posted by: Meridian1 | August 29, 2010 8:30 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 29, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

..QUESTION...
I'm following along on MLB Gamecenter from work...They have Lannan last pitch, fastball that struck out Wainwright clocked at 93? That can't be right. Can anyone offer some insight into this? ..or has Lannan been juicing? I don't think he's ever thrown over 88...I'm stunned.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | August 29, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

--------------

I was at the game and the scoreboard gun (which is probably where the textcasts are getting their info from) had him 92-93.

Probably a fast gun but you could definitely tell the difference in his stuff today.

Posted by: themantoyou | August 29, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

It's very simple, Sec3: you argue with LaRussa directly.

Now, can you make the case that that is what LaRussa truly wanted or was willing to risk? Certainly. If the other team has commandeered the game, however, I feel you tell them they can't get away with it, simply and directly and in a manner designed to get the game moving again, and if the result is rough, you fire up your own team.

At that point it was about showing respect to the game. The outs were either going to come, or they weren't. The damage was done by LaRussa and could have been countered to some limited degree. The ancillary benefit is that you show your team that you won't be played for patsies any longer.

Again, the fact that it was so bush is the reason to respond.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | August 29, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

stevie_in_gp: exactly my point.

Posted by: Meridian1 | August 30, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Can someone explain to me why..When we had runners on 1st and 2nd, NO outs early in the game, Why didnt Willie Harris (an under .200) hitter attempt to bunt the runners over, then Nieves with 1 out doesnt attempt a bunt either ?? If not for Lannan's single that inning is a waste. Only guys that deserve not to bunt are Zimmerman and Adam Dunn. Was Riggs paying attention to the situation out there?

Posted by: DCfan8397 | August 30, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

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