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Bouncing back

Jul 17, 2011, 4:30 AM EDT

Associated Press photo
John Lannan delivered his first two hits of the season during tonight’s win.

ATLANTA — Given what transpired here 24 hours earlier, the Nationals easily could have arrived back at Turner Field Saturday night and doubted their ability to play a clean ballgame against one of the NL’s toughest opponents.

To a man, though, players insisted Friday night’s 11-1 thrashing at the hands of the Braves was nothing to fret about, merely a one-time bump in the road.

That they then went out and proved it during a 5-2 victory over Atlanta speaks volumes about the confidence this team has in itself.

“There’s no doubt about it,” manager Davey Johnson said. “The character over here is unbelievable. You’re never as bad as you look when you lose, and especially when you lose like we did the other day. You just brush it off and you play the next day. We played an outstanding game.”

That they did. The Nationals saw John Lannan bounce back from a frightening moment eight days ago to toss 5 2/3 strong innings, not to mention drive in two runs with his first hit of the season. They saw
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  1. NatsLady - Jul 17, 2011 at 5:05 AM

    This was my favorite post of the night:Some Atlanta Braves fan on their MLB board:"I had a bad feeling about tonight, Lannan pitching for the Nationals".How do you like that–? Mr. L — you are FEARED!

  2. Doc - Jul 17, 2011 at 5:16 AM

    Great article MarkMeister. Barring injury, Desi is going to have a very good second half. You can see him doing things with his bat lately, that'll prove to be successful over the rest of the season.As far as the character part, Davey is right. But as Bill "Spaceman" Lee once said after the the Expos lost a playoff game in the early 80"s, "F*+% the character, I want to win!"

  3. sjm308 - Jul 17, 2011 at 11:42 AM

    Great to read another positive article on Desmond and it will probably quiet the move Espinosa to SS bring up the AAA wonders for at least one day or until Desmond hits another rough spot, BUT, he is not going anywhere folks. Davey is in charge and he has always liked Ian and Desmond is a leader even at his young age. Surprised he would not talk last night, he usually seems to be a "go to" guy for reporters. Maybe he actually reads the stuff here, hope not. Not mentioned but Morse also had a nice day in the field and his pick on that 2nd out in the 9th was a thing of beauty.Go Nats!!

  4. masnstinks - Jul 17, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    After watching last night's game my thought was that it was a clean, uneventful,(baseball-wise, not fan-wise), professionally played game. Win or lose I would like to see this team play consistent baseball after all of the win-streak, one-run games, manager-switch dramas. Walk-offs are exciting but it would be nice to have a stretch of games that is a little less of a roller coaster. I am a little concerned for the rest of the season about the pitching holding up – especially Livo and am also hoping that the manager and fo don't give in to the temptation to push JZimm a little too far. It's not about this year, it's about future years. Just keep that steady climb one step at a time.

  5. Stranded_in_Philly - Jul 17, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    There couldn't possibly be a better picture of a pitcher getting a hit then that shot of Lannan. He looks about as surprised as the rest of us were.

  6. natsfan1a - Jul 17, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    Actually, I wasn't surprised, as I'd called it just after Porter spoke to him. I had no idea on the second one, however. I did like FP's comment after it, something to the effect that LannEn had watched Hudson the night before and was now saying "I got your two hits here." Atta way, Johnny and FP! :-)

  7. natsfan1a - Jul 17, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    Also, there was an in-game graphic referencing Braveheart in re. LannEn's record against the Bravos. FP mentioned William Wallace as well. Maybe FP reads comments here? Nah. :-)

  8. Mark'd - Jul 17, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    @Mark Zuckerman "Desmond declined to speak to reporters after the game, but his manager said all that needed to be said."Mark, any idea why Desmond declined to speak? He had a really good game.

  9. Sunderland - Jul 17, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    "Mark, any idea why Desmond declined to speak?"Duh. Obviously Desmond is a big B52s fan and wanted to get back out of the locker room and into the Love Shack!Speaking of which, Mark, admit it, you enjoyed the show more than you were expecting to.(Yep, that's a preposition right before that period. Bring it on!)

  10. LoveDaNats - Jul 17, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    Ok….that's where you get "hacking the gorse". Braveheart. Duh. See, I would've known that if I'd seen it 500 times like my husband has.

  11. natsfan1a - Jul 17, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    LoveDa, I'll borrow Unkyd's explanation of a few weeks ago (thanks, Unk):Unkyd said… Hacking through the gorse… Blame it on the iPhone. As you'll see, below, I meant to type something else, 1A picked up on it, and away we go! Unkyd said… Gonat: before I "get over it", please to explain the advantage of having the not-hitting-at-all-and-always-has-trouble-with-lefties Mr. Ankiel hacking the gorse 2-3 times through, over having the HOT bat-over-the-last-few-weeks-always-has-trouble-with-lefties Mr. Nix… When the BP Guy comes in, you still have Nix to bat. And, please stop implying that we're all idiots, when you're making about as much sense as rescuing Stairs from the jaws of the Nats Rapture Shark….. June 5, 2011 12:43 PM Unkyd said… Hmmmm… That would be the First 2-3 times through…. June 5, 2011 12:46 PM natsfan1a said… Glad you clarified, Unk. I was just about to Google "hacking the gorse" as I figured it was some esoteric (perhaps golf- or skeet-related) expression I'd not yet come across. I do like the sound of it, "he really hacked the gorse that time." :-) Re. the draft generally, I agree that it will be interesting, but I always thought one did not draft for need? June 5, 2011 1:00 PM Unkyd said… Lol, 1A! I'm gonna have to work "hacking the gorse" into my daily usage, somehow! June 24, 2011 4:16 PM

  12. LoveDaNats - Jul 17, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    Wow. Complicated.

  13. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 17, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 17, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    It's a really versatile expression. For instance:Radio announcer: I've never seen Crash so angry. And frankly, sports fans, he used a word that's a no-no with umpires.Millie: Crash must've called the guy a gorse-hacker.Annie: Mmmmm. How romantic.

  15. Gonat - Jul 17, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    Stat of the night!Thanks to Wilson Ramos and John Lannan, Tommy Hanson dropped to 6th in ERA with 5 earned in 5.1 innings on the same night that Cole Hamels was knocked for 7 earned in 4.1 innings.Jordan Zimmermann says thank you very much as he moves to 4th in NL ERA!!!http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/pitching/_/sort/ERA/league/nl/year/2011/seasontype/2

  16. natsfan1a - Jul 17, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    True that, sec3. Speaking of bouncing back, not Nats related, but I thought this Revere triple was kinda funny:http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=16925903&c_id=min

  17. Sunderland - Jul 17, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    I will admit to having googled "hacking the gorse", and deciding I'd just pretend I was with it and use it.BTW Insiders, as long as we're clarifying things, has anyone come up with a moniker for the pre-swing ritual of Michael Morse? I'm not even sure what genre to put it into. Sort of Karate Kid zen, sort of bobsled driver envisioning, sort of ballerina warm ups. Anyone?

  18. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 17, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    Great clip, 1a! How he can look that clumsy and that athletic at the same time…For those who can't see it:** spoiler alert **Twins' Ben Revere hits a ball to the wall in right, but loses his balance rounding second base and does a forward roll and popup, takes a couple more steps and dives into third, all at full speed.

  19. natsfan1a - Jul 17, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    Not that I know of, Sunderland. Go ahead and give it a whirl if you're feeling creative. I noticed recently that, in addition to the leg lifts, Morse seems to have a foot-bat sequence that he employs. I won't go into details so as not to jinx him (it seems that perhaps he's a tad superstitious). :-)

  20. natsfan1a - Jul 17, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    It *was* pretty awesome, wasn't it, sec3?

  21. Mark'd - Jul 17, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    Gonat, thanks for the ERA stat and Nice to see JZim moving on up.Nats face #1 today in Jurj and hopefully they show him the same rudeness they showed Hanson last night.

  22. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 17, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    The Dance of the Morse King, from the Gorsehacker ballet?

  23. natsfan1a - Jul 17, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    Not bad, sec3!Speaking of (rudely greeting) JJ, there's a new post with lineups.Speaking of rodents, the captcha is "voles." hmmm…

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