Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Instant analysis: Nats 2, Mets 0

US Presswire photo
Steve Lombardozzi reaches to make a grab and force out Ruben Tejada at second base.
Game in a nutshell: While much of the baseball world questioned the decision to shut down Stephen Strasburg over the weekend, the Nationals insisted all along they had a capable late-season replacement in John Lannan. And given what Lannan did tonight -- 5 2/3 scoreless innings -- it's hard to find fault with the Nationals' logic. The left-hander wasn't overpowering by any means, but he threw strikes, kept the ball down in the zone and most importantly kept the Mets off the scoreboard. Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond then supplied the offense with a pair of solo homers. And five relievers (Christian Garcia, Craig Stammen, Ryan Mattheus, Sean Burnett and Drew Storen) finished off the shutout. Yes, Burnett started the ninth inning, despite missing the last 10 days with elbow inflammation. With Tyler Clippard having pitched the previous two nights and a couple of left-handed hitters due up for the Mets, Davey Johnson rolled the dice and turned to Burnett. It worked, though it still required Storen recording the final out of the game to give the Nats a series sweep. And with the Braves trailing by a touchdown late in Milwaukee, the Nationals could find themselves with an 8 1/2-game lead in the NL East by night's end.

Hitting highlight: They tried to produce offense via small ball -- Bryce Harper laid down a sacrifice bunt with two on and nobody out, which wound up failing miserably -- but in the end the Nationals stuck with what has become their forte in recent weeks: the long ball. Zimmerman launched a solo homer to left in the fourth, his 22nd of the season. Then Desmond launched a solo homer of his own to deep left-center in the eighth, his 23rd of the season. That gave the Nationals 35 homers over their last 14 games. And boy were these two needed tonight.

Pitching highlight: Facing added pressure and scrutiny since he was officially taking over Strasburg's start, Lannan remained calm, cool and collected as always. He didn't try to be something he's not and stayed true to what has allowed him to be successful in his career: He pitched to contact and kept the ball on the ground. Twelve of the 23 batters Lannan faced hit groundballs. He issued only one walk (to the last batter he faced). And he made some big pitches when he needed to with men on base. Johnson gave him kind of an early hook (after only 81 pitches) but nobody can complain about the job Lannan did, or has done for the Nationals this year. In three big-league starts, he's now 3-0 with a 2.41 ERA.

Key stat: With his fourth-inning homer, Zimmerman recorded an RBI in his ninth straight game. That's a new franchise (Expos/Nationals) record.

Up next: The Nationals will fly to Atlanta late tonight, enjoy a day off tomorrow and then open a big weekend series with the Braves. Ross Detwiler faces the red-hot Kris Medlen in Friday night's 7:35 p.m. opener.

37 comments:

MicheleS said...

Very happy for John. Well played young man, well played

ehay2k said...

Poor typist’s Auto-correct Instant Analysis
John Lanolin pitchforks a grate grime. Very comical with his pitches, needling only 81 through 6.2 ironings. But the rust showed as his Bundt needles work. Sloe HR by Nast 3rd caveman Rind Zipper man gives the Nast the first score and the lead, which gave them a 5-to-1 win probability. Nets pitcher math Harvey looked very good, throwing 97 mph strokes and challenging Nast haters. But the wookie threw a lot of piths and that was his undone as he was chaste in the top of the Sith with no outs.
Kristina Okra’s hair looked very good, probably due to the low humility. Nice interlude with the Lanolin family where they talked about his experience playing in for the Nast farm team in Silicosis.
Adman Larche’s sixth-inn single set the tableau for Ian Despond’s walk to load the bassists. But the Nast could not take advents , and after consequence poop ups by Tire Moore and Can Suzuki, Sieve Lombard fizzy also flailed to advance the ruiners.
After Nast reliever Christmas Garcon hits Kelly Shop vac to load the bassists for the Nets, he gets Like Davies out to preserver the lead.
Brace Harp error Bundts tow runners over wig no opts, butt a doable plain prevents the Nast form scaring an insecurity ruin.
After a quick bottom of the half-ironing by the Nets, Despond hits a leadoff aplomb to left canter filed for the extract nun the Nast revivers needed.
Butt a two ruin lead was all the Nast ballpein would knead to hold the Nets batters scare less and lead the Nast to a 2-0 wine, cutting their tragic numbness to 12, possibly 11 pending the outcome of the Brewsters -Barves [autocorrect has given up at this point] game.


Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Lets win next series

SCNatsFan said...

Have to be happy for Lannan as he sets out to prove somewhere there is a spot for him in MLB

Swift Eagle said...

HAHA...ehay2k...you're on another level dude...We're not worthy

rogieshan said...

It sure is looking more and more like the Nats and Phillies in the first round.

Drew said...

Lannan did a great job.

At 3-0 for the front-running Nats, he's starting to remind me of Doyle Alexander, who went 9-0 down the stretch for the '87 Tigers.

Course, we didn't have to give up some kid named Smoltz to get Lannan.

Joe Seamhead said...

Lannen was terrific again! Who was it that said that John Lannan stunk? Oh, never mind. 3 and 0! Hat's off to John.

Swift Eagle said...

This team has been so good for so long, they can no longer make me nervous...I expect them to do what's needed, it no longer surprises me. They're that good.

Yes, with 19 games to go, they will prob lose 8-10 games down the stretch, but it won't matter.

They're in, and another team is going to have to play a very good series to knock them out...

GYFNG

natsfan1a said...

Atta way, John. I knew you could do it.

Gonat said...

There's a place for Lannan in the starting rotation next year in DC if EJax isn't re-signed.

ehay2k said...

For the Barves, the worst thing is watching the Nats' magic number go down. There is just no way to make it go up.

Once it drops under 10, with more than 15 to play, the Barves will know that their only chance at the playoffs is a wild card spot. With kind of pressure on your linens every night, you'll find it hard to sleep soundly.

Section 222 said...

ehay2k, you are a man among boys. That was phenomenal.

Kind of painful to watch Phil Wood essentially tell Johnny Holiday, "no, sorry, John Lannan probably isn't going to pitch in the post season."

ehay2k said...

Thanks for the kinds words. Manassas - you were my inspiration. Really need to find you a PWIM computer - Post What I Mean.

ehay2k said...

Sec 222 - Phil may be wrong if the Nats face a lefty-dominated lineup. Besides, Lannan may have just made every Nats pitcher better, by showing them how to pitch economically. That was a clinic.

Swift Eagle said...

It's going to be 8.5 lead (9 in the loss col) and the Braves only have 18 games to play after tonight...

BigCat said...

Yes, Lannan has been through all kinds of adversity this year. Although i believe he gets his 5 mil salary even though he was in the minors the whole year. Watching him pitch, I hope Stra and JZim learn some stuff. Its not all about velocity all the time. Yes, velocity helps, but location and movement is what its all about.

A very good win tonight for the good guys.

BigCat said...

Ehay.....go to bed....sleep it off.

ehay2k said...

Only thing I need to sleep off is the win BigCat. But g'nite to all.

GYFNG!

Gonat said...

Game over in Milwaukee. Barves lose. Magic # is 11.

19 more games in the regular season with 6 more series. You can do the math. 11-8 or better down the stretch guarantees the division plus 100 wins and even a perfect 18-0 by the Barves won't matter if the Nats go 11-8 the rest of the way.

Manassas Nats' Fan said...

I could use that computer. Eye right almost gone.

magic number now11

natsfan1a said...

Don't worry about it, Manassas. Lots of people have issues with autocorrect.

Atta way, Brew Crew. Good night, all.

The Fox said...

Nice game by John, he sure looks like a ML pitcher to me.

After the HR Zimm hit tonight I'm ready to say that he looks completely healthy. Two nice defensive plays too.

As Davey said too many ducks left on the pond some of it was nice pitching by the Mets some of it was chasing pitches trying too hard to make something happen

ehay2k real nice job with the first post.

Constant Reader said...

Go check out the Atlanta Journal Constitution website. There's a photo feature on who the Braves might play in the wildcard game. Warmed my heart.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Medlen and Detwiler on Friday. Nats will have a fresh bullpen and all the boys get a much needed day off.

I think you shut Morse down through Tuesday but that's me.

Pedal to the metal. 8 1/2 game lead over Braves.

Swift Eagle said...

I even think it's a good thing that the Nats will play Games 1 and 2 in the playoffs on the road...

They have been a great road team all year, and the first MLB playoff game in Washington in about 80 years is going to create a lot of hype, pressure, and distractions...I actually think the first home game will be tough to win...

They can just go for a split on the road, and come home to finish things off

Joe Seamhead said...

35 games over .500?
HA! This is just surreal.

Feel Wood said...

Yes, Burnett pitched the ninth inning to record the save, despite missing the last 10 days with elbow inflammation.

Burnett did not complete the ninth inning, Storen did. Storen gets the save.

A DC Wonk said...

Mark, you said that Burnett records the save. Huh? Storen got the last out, so he gets the save, right?

Section 222 said...

I just checked out the post on NatsGM blog listed to the left about why Trout lasted to the end of the first round in 2009. Pretty interesting. One thing it says that might cause some discussion here is that if that same draft were held today, Trout would go before Strasburg.

I'd be interested in folks' reactions to the piece, both on the theory and on the Trout vs. Strasburg debate.

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

ahoy2K dos bitter then LannEn. Brazillion! That was the awesomes.

Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa said...

Burnett did not complete the ninth inning, Storen did. Storen gets the save.

And you see how Mark gets the Instant Analysis up instantly.

Exposremains said...

I think starting on the road is still a big disadvantage. If they go 0-2, even at home its tough to win 3 in a row.

The Fox said...

Exposremains said...

I think starting on the road is still a big disadvantage. If they go 0-2, even at home its tough to win 3 in a row

_________________________________________________

I would usually agree with you but the Nats play very well on the road and it might even take a little pressure off of them. A lot depends on who we play and the pitching match ups.

If the Nats are rested being able to set up the pitching staff match ups might have a bigger effect then whether the start on the road or home.

Swift Eagle said...

I get that, but I actually think Game 1 at home would be a lot of pressure on a young team that already tries to do too much at times...I really like the idea of going on the road, trying to steal 1 of 2, then playing the first home game

Either way, they may as well embrace the concept, b/c they're going to be starting on the road...like it or not

realdealnats said...

Reposting to thank you guys for the LannEn story:
1A, JaneB, and Ratio--
Thanks a lot for the background and sorry I'm late getting back on, but was greatly appreciated. All makes perfect sense now. Another piece of the puzzle complete.

Great game for John. These guys are consummate pros, aren't they?

Rest The Beast. Give Tyler, Lombo, and Shark some time to sharpen up.

Scooter said...

I know everybody's gone, but ehay2k wins the Internet.

Post a Comment