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John Lannan replaces Strasburg, combines on shutout

Sep 12, 2012, 10:49 PM EDT

Washington Nationals' Lannan pitches to New York Mets in MLB game in New York

John Lannan’s return to Washington’s rotation was a very good one, as he pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings Wednesday and combined with five relievers on a 2-0 shutout of the Mets.

Tonight was supposed to be Stephen Strasburg‘s final start of the season, but he was shut down five days early after struggling against the Marlins last week. Lannan stepped into his place and proved more than equal to the task in his first outing since Aug. 3. The veteran left-hander has won all three of his starts for the Nationals this season, amassing a 2.18 ERA in the process.

The Nationals’ shutout meant rookie Matt Harvey was disappointed again. He allowed just one run and struck out 10 in five innings, yet he fell to 3-5 since his callup. He has a 2.92 ERA in nine starts.

Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond supplied the offense for the Nationals, both hitting solo homers. The Mets outhit the Nats 8-7 in the contest.

  1. Old Gator - Sep 12, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    That wasn’t John Lannan. It was really Strasburg, cleverly disguised as John Lannan. Much less strenuous than putting on all that makeup to take Edwin jackson’s spot in the rotation, and the conservation of effort showed tonight.

    • hittfamily - Sep 12, 2012 at 11:39 PM

      So you think it was Lannan Brasburg?

    • dcfan4life - Sep 13, 2012 at 4:02 AM

      8 1/2 game lead on the Braves who are like 7 games ahead in their wild card spot. For the first time in my lifetime i will see postseason baseball in Washington. Only way it gets sweeter is winning in the playoffs. Oh and the Phillies end this ridiculous run empty handed…lol.

      • delsj - Sep 13, 2012 at 9:22 AM

        “Empty handed”, really? 5 NL East titles, 2 NL Championships & a World Series Championship. Maybe if you do actually go on to win something, the Nationals won’t be the next Rangers or Twins.

      • nolanwiffle - Sep 13, 2012 at 10:02 AM

        You mean the Rangers with back-to-back (2) AL pennants?

      • dcfan4life - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:27 PM

        You didnt do well in school with your english comprehension did you? Im referring to right now, this year. The Phillies had a bad 2/3s of a year and yet all of a sudden they are in a position for that second wild card spot. I clearly meant i hope they dont make the playoffs this year even after playing such good baseball lately.

  2. ch0psuey - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:53 AM

    Good way to shut up the Media (No offense HBT) Lannan.

    • Old Gator - Sep 13, 2012 at 2:18 PM

      And no offense to you, Ch0ppie, but the best way to shut up the media continues to be turning the little black nob on the left all the way to the left until you hear a click.

  3. kkolchak - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:58 AM

    Great win for Lannan. It sucked that he was the odd mad out in the rotation after being the team’s best pitcher during the down years, but you gotta love his attitude in coming back and pitching some of the best ball of his career when he’s had his chances.

    • delsj - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:49 AM

      Don’t you mean Nattitude?

  4. bcjim - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:13 AM

    How is Lannan not a full timer? Woulnt he be top 2 for many teams? Why does he tolerate being treated like a hack? Why not ask for a trade? Being a good team guy is one thing but wasting a year in AAA is unreasonable.

    • recoveringcubsfan - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:01 AM

      He *did* ask for a trade, as I recall, and the Nats tried to accommodate him but there were no takers. That was early in the season, too. What I’ve seen of Lannan this year pretty much fits with what he has been his whole career, a pitcher with very good control who doesn’t throw too hard. Sometimes that’s going to work beautifully, sometimes he’s going to get shelled. I like that he has worked a decent amount of pure junk into his repertoire so hitters have to keep guessing; he has a bit of Doug Davis in him. Oh, and he is a dead ringer for the Muppet, Sam the Eagle. Very DC-appropriate.

    • kkolchak - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:31 AM

      Pretty simple: he had no choice but to accept his demotion as he was till under team control and still had an option, and the trade market for him was limited because he has a high salary ($5 million) compared to his talent level (no 4-5 starter type).

  5. East Coast Raider - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:41 AM

    I don’t think he’d be a top 2 guy for many teams. He would be a decent middle-of-the-road guy for most teams, and maybe a top 2 guy for a poor rotation. Lannan did ask for a trade, but the Nats said no. He was sent back down because he had an option lest, unlike Ross Detwiler. Hopefully he continues to play with a chip on his shoulder. The Nats may have kept him waiting in AAA, but they need him now, and he has the chance to be the hero.

    All eyes are on him since he’s Strasburg’s replacement. Each start he loses or gets shelled, people will compare to what Stras may have done. It’s an incredible amount of pressure, but that’s one reason the Nats are happy it’s Lannan; he’s a vet, and so far, he’s holding up well.

    • kkolchak - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:35 AM

      He was a top 2 on the Nats back when they had a crappy rotation, and was No. 6 this year now that they are stacked. That said, I admire Lannan’s guts and the way he kept the Nats from setting all time loss records during the bad years when it was him and the open cattle call in the rotation every year.

  6. vcupats - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:27 AM

    Ok I can finally say it – the Nats won a game where Strasburg would have been pitching. And the starter won’t even be starting in the playoffs.

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