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Another Philly nightmare for Lannan

Aug 14, 2011, 4:07 AM EST

Associated Press photo
Ryan Howard crosses the plate after homering in the first inning.

PHILADELPHIA — By sheer virtue of being born in the state of New York, John Lannan is required to hate any and all things affiliated with the city of Philadelphia. So his disgust for the Phillies and Citizens Bank Park was ingrained in his soul long before he ever set foot in the building.

Everything Lannan has done while standing on the mound in the City of Brotherly Love, though, has only reinforced his feelings about this town and its local ballclub.

Put simply, Lannan cannot succeed here. Anything that can go wrong for the Nationals left-hander does go wrong, whether it’s getting ejected in his big-league debut, serving up towering home runs to one of baseball’s best lineups or being undone by shoddy defense and a crazy dribbler in front of the plate.

In the wake of his latest calamity on Philadelphia soil — an 11-3 drubbing Saturday night — Lannan was as terse and at a loss for words as he’s ever been in four-plus seasons as a major leaguer.

“I don’t know,” he said when asked what in particular went wrong during this game. “No clue.”

Can you blame him for feeling snakebit when he sets foot in Southeastern Pennsylvania? And it’s not some imaginary concept.
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  1. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 14, 2011 at 4:26 AM

    If LannEn doesn't have a clue what went wrong, here's a refresher:He pitched lousy. Nats played lousy defense. We made a so-so Roy Oswalt looked like Roy Halladay. And we played like a bunch of Little Leaguers.Seven unearned runs would embarrass most teams. We'll see how they react.Oh, yeah, one more thing: We get to face the real Halladay Sunday.

  2. Drew8 - Aug 14, 2011 at 6:49 AM

    In 1993 Toronto's Juan Guzman set the major league record with 26 wild pitches in 221 innings pitched.Henry Rodriguez has 11 in 43.1 innings pitched.Utterly atrocious.

  3. Anonymous - Aug 14, 2011 at 7:11 AM

    @Drew8,And one of the starting pitchers in the current rotation hasn't really pitched reliably for over four years well before he had reached the age of 30. Yet he is the rotation today and will pitch again. Perhaps he makes it back?Ryan Mattheus had the TJ surgery when the Nats traded for him. Oliver Perez is down in AA Harrisburg trying to prove he can again be a reliable pitcher in the major leagues …And then there's HRod and honestly he has been more effective than guys like Detwiler, Chico, Mock, et al. He throws a fastball that can peak up to 103 mph. It can't be hit if his control places it anywhere other than the middle of the plate. Juan Guzman could never do that.

  4. Anonymous - Aug 14, 2011 at 7:15 AM

    What's more interesting at this point is progress on those top five draft picks PLUS TWO? Really, everything else is of little import by comparison given the lead Atlanta and Philadelphia currently have.What's up with Rendon, Meyer, Goodwin, Purke, and Turnbull + Buchanan and Laxer.

  5. joemktg - Aug 14, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    Next question for Mark on Beltway Baseball Live:Does HRod make it easy to be unlikeable?

  6. Big Cat - Aug 14, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    From now on Davey needs to skip Lannans turn in Philly and Livo's turn in Colorado. They could get some mystery flue bug on those days

  7. m20832 - Aug 14, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said… If LannEn doesn't have a clue what went wrong, here's a refresher: He pitched lousy. Nats played lousy defense. We made a so-so Roy Oswalt looked like Roy Halladay. And we played like a bunch of Little Leaguers. Seven unearned runs would embarrass most teams. We'll see how they react.Exactly. This game was so bad, I had to watch the Packers-Browns game.And Hrod would be terrific if he just knew where the ball was going after it left his hand.

  8. Another_Sam - Aug 14, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    M20- yes the game was bad but not bad enough to get me to switch to preseason WWE – I mean NFL. I switched to little league.

  9. Anonymous - Aug 14, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    Mark – howler in the gamer – WHIP is walks plus hits per inning pitched, not per nine innings as you said. Think about it – if it were per 9 innings, then Lannan's 2.18 in Philly would be awesome, not atrocious.

  10. spark - Aug 14, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    Mark, hey, not that it matters, but did the paranthetic "(walks and hits per nine innings)" come from an editor at CSN? Because I can't believe for 1 minute that this came from your keyboard.

  11. Oldguy - Aug 14, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Anonymous - Aug 14, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    I switched to Scared Straight. It was scary but not as much as the Nats performance. Pray for a rain out today.

  13. Joe Seamhead - Aug 14, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    The.Worst.Game. The Nats.Have Played. In two years.Can somebody explain why Werth wasn't credited with a sacrifice fly when he hit the ball to deep center and Zimm tagged and went to third?

  14. natsfan1a - Aug 14, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    I just *knew* he did something there. He was wincing as he got up and after he was back on the mound. I guessed at the time that it was his elbow, because he kept flexing his arm and looking at it.I also don't get how H-Rod is the goat (granted, this is the first game I've seen in over a week due to having been out of town for a memorial service). Yeah, you never know what you're going to get with the guy, but before he's even in the game there are 7 unearned runs due to defensive lapses and LannEn walks 5 – including the opposing pitcher, twice (add an earned run as well because, hey, somebody had to work their way on). Looked like a team effort to me. I watched the whole durned thing, but then again, I hadn't seen them in action for more than a week. Won't see today's game in real time but will be recording. Maybe I'll watch it later if I don't have a synapse lapse and accidentally delete it, as I did with Friday's win. Oh well, maybe *that* one will be featured on Nats Classics some time.

  15. natsfan1a - Aug 14, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    "He" being LannEn. I included a relevant quote from Mark's full piece in an earlier version of my comment but it was lost somewhere during the editorial process (Thanks for nothing, proofreederzz! humph.).

  16. natsfan1a - Aug 14, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    Just saw this, JaneB, and thanks. I've seen blurbs for The Franchise but haven't yet watched any episodes. Will have to check my local listings. Did get to watch one Giants game on tv on my recent CA trip (vs. the Pirates, as it happens).JaneB said… I'm feeling a little bad about Mark having to recap this game, while I watch The Franchise. Natsfan1a, you are following it, aren't you? I didn't even know him but i think about your Giants- loving brother during the show. August 13, 2011 10:55 PM

  17. natsfan1a - Aug 14, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    Ah, after looking, I see that it's on Showtime, which we don't get. I knew there was a reason that I didn't watch any of it. Maybe it'll show up on Hulu or something.

  18. NatsLady - Aug 14, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    @Seamhead: A sac fly has to score a run. A sac bunt is credited if the runners advance. Them's just the rules. You don't get a sac if you hit a grounder and the runners advance, it has to be a bunt.

  19. sunderland - Aug 14, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    I'm fine with HRod. He's a work in progress for sure. And it's a bummer that since he is out of waivers he needs his refinining during MLB games. Like most every other team, we have plenty of guys with the potential to be capable MLB players, and a few guys with the potential to be MLB stars. HRod is definitely in that latter category. His stuff is electic, but he obviously still has control issues. August 2 vs ATL he was awesome. Entered in the 7th with guys on 2nd and 3rd to face Uggla and struck him out. He faced 8 hitters, gave up one two out single, struck out 4, walked none. He's got huge upside, a real shot at being an MLB star. Improve his command just a bit, and he's not far away at all from a guy like Jose Valverde.

  20. NatsLady - Aug 14, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    Henry is not the goat. In fact, I'm not sure why Davey didn't leave him in once he put him in for the 2nd inning. If Henry wants to be a starter (and one assumes he does) he has GOT to be effective for at least two innings. He was fine the first inning.

  21. Carl in 309 - Aug 14, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    It must have been an ugly game–I stopped monitoring it when the Phillies tacked on 5 runs. As bad as all that seemed, there was rich irony in today's N.Y. Times. Tony Plush (a.k.a., Nyjer Morgan) is evidently all the rave in Milwaukee–and has a batting average all but Michael Morse would envy. I know; it's his first season in a new place, it won't last, etc. But really . . . when do we get a couple of guys like this? (see

  22. NatsLady - Aug 14, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    Looking at radar. Can't tell if that big bag of rain in Western PA will hit Philly this afternoon. Seems like the present storm should be out of here soon.

  23. Rob Dibble's Ghost - Aug 14, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    Today's game is washed out. Makeup as part of a doubleheader on 9/20

  24. NatsLady - Aug 14, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    Already? Thanks, Ghost. At least the boys get two days off in a row. Get some rest and get their heads together.

  25. natsfan1a - Aug 14, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    Although two days off after an ugly loss gives more time to stew as well. Best case scenario: both the team and the fans are able to shake it off, clear their heads, and be ready to roll when the bell rings again on Tuesday.

  26. NatsLady - Aug 14, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    I don't think this is the kind of loss that stews. It was over early on, and everyone, included Lannan, just lost some focus (my opinion). The more frustrating losses are the ones in Chicago, etc., that were very winnable. Me, it's a day for the gym and housecleaning and rooting for Cleveland… It's a shame we have to depend on Arizona to keep us out of last place. Go Marquis!

  27. Mick - Aug 14, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    Use this time for some BP. Look, now is the time the Nats need to start putting together a few winning streaks. If, they can be 2-3 over 500 by 9/1, then it could get interesting and I will feel better about Davey long term. I know I'm dreaming.

  28. NatsLady - Aug 14, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    Mick, I was going to say the same. Probably hard to motivate the guys for extra BP (and maybe some fielding drills) but the season isn't over, you want to have tight defense behind Wang and the pitchers coming up in September. Maybe it's not spring training, but close enough–let's look at it as team development and not "playing out the string." This team has a good future next year and it's not too early to work on it now. Also, as a fan (and female), I don't live for the long ball–I love the cool catches, double-plays, HROD working on his control, and Wang pitching a 1-hitter. Go NATS!

  29. natsfan1a - Aug 14, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    Good point re. the stewing, NatsLady. I agree re. the frustration for the Chicago games vs. the Philly. Funny how I forgot that I'd watched the Thursday game when I said that I'd not seen a game for over a week. Guess I must have successfully "showered it off." :-)I've shaken off the Philly loss as well and will be heading for the Montgomery County Fair later today. But I will join you in spirit in rooting for Manny and Jason!Last but not least (and as another female fan), me too re. the long ball. I know it's a popular cliche thanks to that long-ago commercial, but I dig inside-the-parkers, sparkling defense, and pitchers' duels.

  30. Anonymous - Aug 14, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    What a great commercial that was! Maddox was awesome – "HEY! We got Cy Young winners over here!" For your complete enjoyment –





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