Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Lannan, non-tendered by the Nats over the winter, signed a $2.5 million contract with Philadelphia but made only three starts before straining his left quadriceps muscle, an injury that cost him two months. You can only imagine his motivation tonight, both to make a strong return from the DL and to shut down his old ballclub (not to mention beat the guy who the Nationals essentially signed to take his spot: Dan Haren).
When Lannan looks at the opposing lineup, he won't see a whole lot of familiar names. Davey Johnson is going with a group even more depleted than usual tonight, with Adam LaRoche and Denard Span each out (in addition to Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos). Span looked pretty hampered yesterday after he fouled a pitch off his right foot. LaRoche has no known injury, but he's been slumping a bit lately and he hasn't had a day off in quite some time.
Plenty of updates to come live from the ballpark, and I'll also be appearing on Comcast SportsNet at 6 p.m., so be sure to tune in there and check back here...
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 184
Weather: Partly cloudy, 83 degrees, Wind 9 mph out to RF
CF Jeff Kobernus
2B Anthony Rendon
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Jayson Werth
SS Ian Desmond
1B Chris Marrero
C Kurt Suzuki
LF Steve Lombardozzi
RHP Dan Haren
CF Ben Revere
3B Michael Young
SS Jimmy Rollins
1B Ryan Howard
LF Domonic Brown
RF Delmon Young
2B Kevin Frandsen
C Humberto Quintero
LHP John Lannan
HP Mike DiMuro
1B Ted Barrett
2B Alfonso Marquez
3B Scott Barry
7:06 p.m. — And we're underway as the Phillies' John Lannan (that still sounds weird, doesn't it?) fires strike one to longtime Nats teammate ... Jeff Kobernus. Uh, maybe that's not exactly how John envisioned this happening. Anyways, we're underway.
7:15 p.m. — Wait, do my eyes deceive me or did a member of the Nationals lineup just actually produce an RBI single with a man in scoring position? Unbelievable. Jayson Werth drills a base hit to left, bringing home Anthony Rendon from second. This came after Rendon drew a one-out walk, and after Ryan Zimmerman was hit in the foot by a pitch from Lannan. Or, I should say, convinced home plate umpire Mike DiMuro he was hit in the foot. DiMuro didn't initially call it, but Zim pleaded his case and wound up getting the free base. Bizarre. Nats lead 1-0 after a half-inning.
7:37 p.m. — A 1-2-3 bottom of the first for Dan Haren, after which the Nats went to work again against Lannan. They got a pair of singles from the bottom of their lineup (Suzuki and Lombardozzi) but couldn't deliver after that. So, despite five men on base in two innings, they've still scored only the one run. Hmm, have we seen this act before?
7:48 p.m. — Well, it took four batters tonight before somebody homered off Haren. Ryan Howard wasn't cheated on this one, either. He destroyed a 2-2, letter-high pitch way back into the second deck in right field, a bomb. That's 18 homers now allowed by Haren this year, a staggeringly high total. So it's 1-1 after two.
8:11 p.m. — Now that was a weird inning, the bottom of the third. It included back-to-back walks from Haren, who entered tonight with a ridiculously good, 6-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. It then featured a strikeout of Domonic Brown with the bases loaded. Then it ended with Delmon Young blooping a double down the right-field line, just in front of a diving Jayson Werth. That brought two runs home, but Werth and Rendon combined to catch Howard straying too far off third base. So the inning ended without further damage, but the Nats now trail 3-1.
8:27 p.m. — So, Suzuki and Lombardozzi are now 4-for-4 tonight, with back-to-back doubles in the fourth bringing home another run. Go figure. The deficit is now 3-2 after Haren retired the side in the bottom of the fourth.
8:47 p.m. — Five innings down, and Haren continues to labor. He gave up a run in the top of the fifth, a direct result of an easy stolen base allowed to Ben Revere. Revere wound up scoring from second on Howard's two-out, RBI single. So it's 4-2 Phillies and Haren's already at 101 pitches. There's finally action in the Nats pen, with Ross Ohlendorf warming and likely entering for the sixth. Lannan, meanwhile, is done for the night. His final line: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP, 92 pitches. He's in line for the win.
9:03 p.m. — I have to admit, I was surprised when Haren came back out for the sixth, sitting on 101 pitches. But he retired the bottom of the Phillies lineup in order, so he kept this a 4-2 deficit as we move to the seventh. Eight straight Nats batters have been retired.
9:10 p.m. — Haren's final line: 6 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 115 pitches. Not his worst outing at all, but still lacking. He's in line for his ninth loss of the year because his teammates have gone silent at the plate. Eleven consecutive Nats batters have been retired by Lannan and Mike Stutes. Still 4-2 as we reach the seventh-inning stretch.
9:18 p.m. — On a positive note: How about that Ian Krol? Another 1-2-3 inning of relief from the lefty, who has certainly impressed in his limited time here. Still 4-2 going to the eighth.
9:32 p.m. — Whoa, a two-out RBI single from Desmond in the top of the eighth, trimming the lead to 4-3. They certainly needed that. But they still need one more, and now they're down to their final three outs, with Jonathan Papelbon warming in the pen.
9:52 p.m. — Classic Tyler Clippard eighth inning there. He loaded the bases yet somehow emerged without allowing a run. So we go to the ninth, and it'll be Suzuki, Lombardozzi and Tracy against Papelbon. If anybody gets on, it'll be Bernadina.
10:02 p.m. — Sweet Fancy Moses! Chad Tracy, down 0-2 with two outs in the ninth, lofts a game-tying homer down the right-field line. The second time he's done that in three days. It's 4-4 and we're heading to the bottom of the ninth. Unbelievable.
10:17 p.m. — And for the second time in four days, Fernando Abad gives up the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. This time, it was three singles in the bottom of the ninth, the last a two-out base hit up the middle by Domonic Brown. Nats lose 4-3 and fall back below the .500 mark.