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Nats lose, but Lannan OK after scare

Jul 9, 2011, 4:26 AM EDT

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John Lannan departs the field after taking a line drive off his face.

The ball came screaming off Ty Wigginton’s bat, and in the millisecond that followed, the best John Lannan could do was raise his glove and hope to deflect the projectile that was making a beeline for his face.

Lannan didn’t get the glove all the way up, but he did manage to deflect the ball just enough to disperse some of its force before it smashed into the left side of his nose.

It may not have looked like much, but that slight deflection may have made all the difference in the world. Though Lannan had to rush off the field in the top of the fourth, blood dripping from his nose, the Nationals left-hander appeared to avoid serious injury. He may even make his next scheduled start coming out of the All-Star break.

That was easily the best news to come out of Friday night’s 3-2 loss to the Rockies, an otherwise frustrating ballgame for the Nationals that featured a couple more unsightly at-bats from Jayson Werth in crucial moments.

“It’s a manager’s worst nightmare,” Davey Johnson said. “We were very fortunate that there isn’t a lot of damage. That ball was smoked, and the good news is he got his glove up to deflect it off him, so it
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  1. Unkyd - Jul 9, 2011 at 4:41 AM

    Thank you, Jesus…

  2. Section 222 - Jul 9, 2011 at 4:59 AM

    Very tough night. If Lannan were seriously hurt it would have been much worse obviously. The Nats seemed pretty listless after that scare, and I guess I can't blame them. Of course, the crowd stayed and came alive in the 9th after Morse's leadoff hit. One swing from Werth could have won the game, but no one in the crowd actually expected that to happen.Werth's struggles are almost painful to watch. He seems completely unprepared at the plate, fidgeting and moving as the pitcher delivers the pitch and incapable of triggering an aggressive rather than a defensive swing. The All Star break can't come soon enough for him. Hope he goes fishing somewhere or does something to clear his head. By the way, thanks to all who passed on good wishes in connection with my Anthem performance tonight. Don't know if any of you were there (the rain seemed to have significantly reduced the number of people who made it to the park for the first pitch) but it went pretty well I think. I'll try to post a link to a recording on YouTube sometime soon. Special thanks to MarkZ who was kind enough to come down for a chat during the rain before the game. He's a class act and it was really fun to talk baseball with him for a few minutes. We're a lucky group of Insiders here.

  3. Grandstander - Jul 9, 2011 at 5:03 AM

    @UnkydWhat did Flores have to do with it?But seriously, it's great that he didn't break a bone or something. Sounds like it was just a bloody nose. Probably didn't get into too many fights at Chaminade, but he'll be ok.This ASB can't come soon enough. The pen is overworked, the starters are falling apart and the offense hasn't looked worse all season. Definitely looking to Marquis to be the stopper here coming off his 2010-esque campaign last time out. I'd love to see some nice sinkers and flashy leather tomorrow night.

  4. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 9, 2011 at 6:11 AM

    Get Yourself Fixed-up, Nose-Glove.Get well and give'emhell, JL.I took a batted ball in the philtrum once–tho not off an MLB bat, obviously. Paint on a Groucho moustache, and the bruise is not so obvious.

  5. Scooter - Jul 9, 2011 at 7:08 AM

    Philtrum? I don't even know 'em!(Captcha: mendnph. What Lannan said when asked, "Where did it hit you?")

  6. natsfan1a - Jul 9, 2011 at 10:58 AM

    They don't call him "Balking Bob" for nothing, I reckon.Re. the results, was hoping for a win, but am just happy that John had good enough reflexes last night. I'd take an intact pitcher over a curly w any day.Re. the series, I guess there's just one thing left to do. Win the whole GYFNG thing."But with two outs and runners on the corners, he moved ever so slightly while in the set position, and plate umpire Bob Davidson correctly called a balk on him."

  7. JaneB - Jul 9, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    I agree that this break can't come fast enough for Jayson Werth. This would be a hard stretch for him, even if he was making a tenth what he's making.Section 222, I bailed on the game because I thought it would rain. I'm looking forward to the YouTube.Okay. Two wins to take the series, one to stay at .500.GYFNG!

  8. natscan reduxit - Jul 9, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    “An MLB team in Montréal would be highly appealing for the right media group.”http://sports.nationalpost.com/2011/07/08/baseball-unlikely-to-return-to-montreal-study/… hey, if it can work in Washington .. twice .. maybe it can work in Montreal again.… but until then, Go Nats!!

  9. HHover - Jul 9, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    Sec 222 – Was at the park last night and heard you. Didn't get to see you because we were walking around the concourse trying to find a gate that had hats left (they seemed to run out way quicker than the promised 10K adults–anyone else notice that? Maybe they were afraid to bring out that many hats given the threat of rain). Anyway, you sounded great and I look forward to the video link.Glad it sounds as if Lannan's injury isn't too serious–the way he popped up was encouraging, but the fact that he made a bee line for the dugout made clear that he wasn't coming back.Too bad they couldn't do more in the first inning–with the offense sputtering, they don't get many chances, and one run from a no-out, bases-loaded situation ain't much.Here's hoping they get back above .500 before the ASB and can recharge their batteries.

  10. Doc - Jul 9, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    @ natscan reduxitBaseball back in Montreal, fugedaboutit, and regretfully so. It was great fun while it lasted!

  11. LoveDaNats - Jul 9, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    I will be there tonight. I agree with everyone about Werth. I keep yelling at the TV to "get into a more aggressive stance! …hold the bat up and back a little!…look like you WANT it!" Do you think he doesn't listen to Eckstein or is that how Rick is telling him to do it?

  12. carolync - Jul 9, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    I'm afraid it's not a mechanical adjustment with Werth. I think it's in his head. He looks stiff, awkward and flummoxed. You can see the difference if you look at videos of his at-bats as a Phillie. I hope he can work his way out of it, but the lusty booing from fans isn't helping.Might be a good idea to sit him for these next two games so he has the all-star break to get some rest.Sure glad Lannon's OK. That looked bad.Go, Nats!

  13. NatsLady - Jul 9, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    Will be there tonight. Jayson — stop taking first pitch strikes!!!! Do you HEAR me???

  14. m20832 - Jul 9, 2011 at 7:16 PM

    NatsLady, if you are close enough, he will hear you. I was at the last Mariners game (which we won on the sacrifice by Nix to bring Bixler home for the win) and sat three rows up in the president's section behind home plate. Michael Morse was getting the short end of calls by Darrell Cousins (umpire) and Michael was called out on a ball off the plate. I yelled for Cousins to take off his freakin' sunglasses and maybe he could actually see where the pitch was instead of guessing. I was looking straight at Cousins, but since Michael was walking back to the dugout, he looked over in my direction and the his next at bat, he had the sunglasses off. Unfortunately, Cousins left his on. And he continued to make bad calls.So they can hear you. Have fun at the game!

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W L GB
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ATLANTA 70 64 6.0
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NEW YORK 62 72 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 61 72 14.5
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FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
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