Mar 23, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
John Lannan was highly efficient during yesterday's six-inning start.
VIERA, Fla. — It's tough to find a pitching rhythm when every other start you make in spring training comes in a minor-league game on a back field at 11 a.m. Entering yesterday's outing against the Astros, John Lannan had very little feel for how he was progressing this spring, due in part to the fact he had made only two previous appearances in big-league games, none since March 12 against the Yankees.
So Lannan's incredibly efficient six innings against Houston — he allowed one run on two hits and needed only 66 pitches to do it — was probably the best indication the left-hander has gotten for his readiness entering the season.
"It's something to build off of," he said.
With the Nationals wanting to see Yunesky Maya several times against big-league competition, Lannan was relegated to scrimmage duties at the minor-league complex twice in the last two weeks. In his only two major-league outings this spring, he had allowed six runs on seven hits and four walks over 7 1/3 innings.
The lefty was much better yesterday against the Astros. He jumped ahead of hitters with first-pitch strikes, kept the ball on the ground and was so efficient, he actually needed to throw 15 more pitches inRead more »
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