|USA Today Sports Images|
Hitting lowlight: After a week's worth of (mostly) impressive offensive performances, there was every reason to believe the Nationals would keep it going tonight. Except for one small problem: They ran into a beast known as John Lannan. The longtime Nats left-hander already faced his old club a few weeks ago, but you know he had to be motivated to face it again, especially now that he's fully healed from his calf strain. Lannan was nothing short of dominant, scattering four singles and two walks over eight innings. The closest the Nationals came to scoring was in the fourth, when they put three straight batters on base. Bryce Harper, though, was caught stealing, and Adam LaRoche grounded out to kill that rally. Lannan struck out Ian Desmond (for the third time) to end the eighth and walked off the mound to a standing ovation. In parts of six seasons with the Nats, he pitched eight scoreless innings only one (July 21, 2009 vs. Mets). This one had to make the lefty feel good.
Pitching highlight: If you only watched Haren pitch and didn't know the results, you'd have thought he was torched by the Phillies lineup. But after allowing two quick runs in the bottom of the first, the veteran right-hander put up four straight zeroes to at least keep this game close. It wasn't particularly pretty — he gave up seven hits and walked three, including one free pass with the bases loaded — but Haren did also strike out seven and somehow managed to come up big when he needed to most. Long-term, this probably won't cut it, but perhaps Haren can take the positives out of his first start back from the DL and improve upon it the next time he takes the mound.
Key stat: Haren's first-inning walk of Darin Ruf was only the third of his career with the bases loaded.
Up next: The series continues with a matchup featuring rookie Taylor Jordan (making his third career start for the Nationals) and left-hander Cole Hamels (making his 230th career start for the Phillies). First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.