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Lannan rises to the occasion

Jul 22, 2012, 4:17 AM EDT

Associated Press photo
John Lannan gave up two early runs but then shut down the Braves.

For more than four seasons, he would take the mound every fifth day for the Nationals, the most reliable member of a typically unreliable starting rotation. He pitched well most nights, didn’t pitch well every once in a while, and compiled stats that suggested he was worthy of a spot at the back end of a big-league rotation.

But through it all, through 128 starts with the Nationals from 2007-11, John Lannan never once pitched in a truly significant baseball game.

“I mean, I’ve never been on a first-place team,” he said. “And I’ve never been in a game where it really meant something.”

So when the opportunity finally presented itself Saturday night, Lannan decided he might as well make the most of it.

“That’s all I wanted to do: Come in, and in any way I could help the team,” he said.
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102 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. peric - Jul 22, 2012 at 4:23 AM

    I was wondering why the Lannan photo disappeared now it makes sense.

  2. Steady Eddie - Jul 22, 2012 at 4:28 AM

    Thanks for a well-written and telling story, Mark. That line about "never played for a first place team before" was genuinely poignant.

  3. SonnyG10 - Jul 22, 2012 at 4:31 AM

    I am really thankful that he wanted to help the team. What a good attitude given whats happened to him.

  4. Feel Wood - Jul 22, 2012 at 4:33 AM

    What a loser. Peric that is, not Lannan.

  5. rogieshan - Jul 22, 2012 at 4:43 AM

    Steady Eddie, "That line about 'never played for a first place team before' was genuinely poignant."Indeed. It kinda makes me wish the team can somehow find a place for him before September so he can qualify to be on the post-season roster.

  6. Bzl. - Jul 22, 2012 at 4:55 AM

    Just a marvelous ballgame and a great story. I'm so happy for John! Isn't it a bit ironic that Lannan outpitched Strasburg this weekend?

  7. NatsLady - Jul 22, 2012 at 4:57 AM

    My respect for Lannan went up a lot with this story and this game. Also for Rizzo because he put up with Lannan's tantrum and kept the big picture in mind. A unique story.If the Nats get to the postseason, there will be other guys who have contributed but aren't on the 25-man, and won't have a chance to get a ring. Hopefully, we won't forget these players.

  8. NatsNut - Jul 22, 2012 at 5:13 AM

    (new posted)I've just finished a round of 4 games in three days, one baking in stifling heat, three in the chilly, misty rain. And I'm still beaming, even with 3-1 record. I'm exhausted too. I have no idea how players can do this day-in and day-out.Man, I LOVE John Lannan and I'm so happy he did so well today. Full seven innings in under 100 pitches was impressive and probably just what Davey ordered. I had forgotten how nice it is to get so many groundouts.

  9. Steady Eddie - Jul 22, 2012 at 5:14 AM

    rogie, Actually they could if they decided that would work. Stras will be on the 25 man into early or mid September but won't be on any playoff roster for demonstrable medical reasons, so they could substitute another pitcher on the playoff roster if they decided to, and it's possible that could be Lannan if he did well in September. Important to have a fifth starter in the playoffs because even if your 1-4 are reasonably intact going in, you never know. Again, if Lannan continued to do well into September, I think most of us would rather he be the fifth than be chewing our fingers off at the thought of Gorzy or Stammen having to be a fill-in playoff starter after not having pitched more than 3 innings at a time in the regular season.

  10. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 22, 2012 at 5:44 AM

    Hey! What can you say? How about "John's my guy!"I was hoping, of course, but really, really thought it would go just the way it did that first inning. The guys from Atlanta must have been thinking "sweep" after that bombardment. Then, "my guy" shuts them down for 6 innings straight. How?By throwing strikes, and getting that sinker to work. Funny game, baseball. The offense going nowhere, so fate steps in and sends Harp to the bench, and his end-of the-pine replacement goes 5 for 7, or something, and leads the offense to victory in the 2nd game. Talk about stepping up and bailing out the skipper, and just where you least expected it. Ejax, my guy, the BP and the Shark showed how its done.Those guys are winners.

  11. Joe Seamhead - Jul 22, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Woke up this morning, looked at the standings,we're still in first place, still have the best record in the NL, Bryce Harper is not seriously hurt, Roger Bernadina has had a very productive run, Sean Burnett and Tyler Clippard seemed to only have had a 24 hour case of bad-henry, Ryan Zimmerman is playing solid, Ian Desmond's scotch tape and Elmer's Glue seems to be holding,Danny Espinosa is hitting better, Sandy Leon looks to be a pretty OK backup catcher, Davey Johnson looked and sounded happy again, John Lannan feels better about himself, too, heck, even peric feels better about John Lannan, ALR is also still rock solid at first, The Beast showed he still can hit a ball pretty hard, and I looked over my shoulder and the Phillies were nowhere to be seen.GOOD MORNING, NATIONALS NATION!

  12. MicheleS - Jul 22, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Up here in Cooperstown, only info I am getting not about the Mets/Yanks is on this blog, WOW, the game thread. As Joe S and others have said, we are still in first place. Some of you need to stand down from you computers.I am very happy for John, glad to see his comments. It's good to see him be able to contribute to this team. That will play well with Rizzo and/or any new teams. GYFNG! Go Det!

  13. rabbit34 - Jul 22, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    The way Lannan pitched just shows you there is no guarantee in baseball. Everybody must have been crapping bricks in the first!!! Glad it worked out. We really need the win today. I know, that goes without saying. But, there are no guarantees!!

  14. baseballswami - Jul 22, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    The thing I love best about this team is that every single person is important and has a role to play, even past the 25. Yesterday it was Bernie, Leon,Lannan, DeRosa, Bryce off the bench, Lobonosa switching positions late in the game. It's not just a few "stars". If we stay on this thing it will be because of that and our organizational depth.

  15. sjm308 - Jul 22, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    Mark, thanks for a great article and great insight into how LannEn felt. There are so many of our lads who have never played meaningful games into August, much less Sept. Cutting Ankiel was probably the right move but he, DeRosa, Werth, Jackson and maybe LaRoche are the only ones I can think of that have been in those types of games. It is not going to be a reason for panic but it does help to have experience during stretches like the past few days when things go south.MichelleS – hope things are great in Cooperstown! Were you amazed at how much Yankee/Red Sox gear is featured in all the stores? I am wondering if our guys (Harper/Strassburg) have made a dent in that? Finally, was there no way they could have let LannEn stay and just sit in the dugout for todays game? I think he deserves that after what he did for us yesterday. We have had injured players, in uniform, that were not on the 25 man roster in the dugout. I don't think that would have been bittersweet since he now (hopefully) figures in our plans for the final month. Just a thought and maybe it is not allowed in that new CBA.Go Nats!

  16. BigCat - Jul 22, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    Great job John Lannan. Sometimes "heart" means more than what the radar gun says.

  17. #4 - Jul 22, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    This isn't football. It isn't basketball. Baseball is not a game that you can dominate with physicality. I had the pleasure of talking to F.P. for about 20 minutes at an event in April. When I asked him about his broadcasting perspective, the first thing he said was, "I try never to forget how hard the game is." Baseball rips your heart out. It cuts it up and stomps on it. It embarrasses and humbles you in a heartbeat. It's why it's the most wonderful game in the world. When the Nats have another nightmare like Friday night (and they will) and we're all tempted to call for Rizzo's, Davey's, or Clip's head, I hope we can all remember that.

  18. #4 - Jul 22, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    This isn't football. It isn't basketball. Baseball is not a game that you can dominate with physicality. I had the pleasure of talking to F.P. for about 20 minutes at an event in April. When I asked him about his broadcasting perspective, the first thing he said was, "I try never to forget how hard the game is." Baseball rips your heart out. It cuts it up and stomps on it. It embarrasses and humbles you in a heartbeat. It's why it's the most wonderful game in the world. When the Nats have another nightmare like Friday night (and they will) and we're all tempted to call for Rizzo's, Davey's, or Clip's head, I hope we can all remember that.

  19. baseballswami - Jul 22, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    We do have a few guys with post season experience. We also now have players and coaches coming up that have been winning championships in the minors. I realize that's not the same as the post season in the major leagues, but I would imagine that it's pretty intense if you are involved in it. They will want that feeling again.

  20. sjm308 - Jul 22, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Well said #4 – its so easy to just rip players and forget this is 162 games. They will not all go the way we (or the player) want them to. That game on Friday was heartbreaking to this old fan but I didn't want anyone fired or traded or dfa'd. I just wanted us to go out and play the way we have all season. I can't imagine how tough it is for a guy like Clippard to know he is going to be in the very same situation the next night and have to immediately forget what happened. Already hoping that we will see Detwiler pitch like his last outing but the great thing about this game is that we won't have a clue until its started. I am also hoping the Chipper's knee is barking and he needs to rest, and that we can get to the Braves bullpen sooner than later. They have used just as many relievers as we have during this series and except for their closer, I don't see the standouts on their side.Go Nats!!!

  21. natsfan1a - Jul 22, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    Great story, Mark. So happy for John-Boy, and for the team, of course. Loved John's remarks in the piece, and Desi's. I noticed that Desi gave John a big hug after the latter came out of the game. Almost wondered whether Desi stayed in as long as he did, despite his oblique issue, to back John up on defense while he was on the bump.Also, nice post #4. On a somewhat related note, I try never to forget that those are fellow human beings out on the field. ;-)

  22. JaneB - Jul 22, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    I'm so happy with and about this team, all 40 guys. They all really do have a true role, at least maybe thirty of them.GYFNG!

  23. Dryw Loves the Nats - Jul 22, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Joe Seamhead, you are exactly right. And good morning to you, too!!

  24. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 22, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    How gratifying for those of us that have appreciated John's efforts over the past 4 years. When he was sent to Harrisburg 2 seasons ago to work on his mechanics, I felt that maybe his career was over but when he came back and posted a sub 4 era, I started to see him as a solid back end guy.Some people don't understand the huge difference between AAA and the Show and all that goes in to player evaluation. Lannans #'s at Syracuse are meaningless because the book has been written on him as last nights effort proved.I look forward to seeing take the ball in two weeks and in meaningful games in September.And great insight Ghost. You had this one nailed all along.

  25. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 22, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    And for anyone interested, look at the book on Zack Duke and tell me who you would rather give the ball to every 5th day.

  26. natsfan1a - Jul 22, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Heading out for cat duty and then to the ballpark, so need to get this one in now: Go, DET! Go, NATS!!

  27. Doc - Jul 22, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Thanks for the story Mark.It takes heart to write a story about heart.It also makes you wonder about how to translate an ERA of 4.89 at AAA into a quality game, on Lannan's part, in the Bigs.

  28. Gonat - Jul 22, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Feel Wood said… What a loser. Peric that is, not Lannan. July 22, 2012 12:33 AM ____________________________Isn't that the truth. If Lannan pitched a no-hitter while giving up a 2 walks, Peric would complain that he didn't have a Perfect Game.

  29. Joe Seamhead - Jul 22, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    NatsJack, I don't get the whole fascination with Zach Duke either. He is at best a fringe pitcher that has never done much when given a shot. I hope if Duke is given a chance here that I am proven wrong.

  30. Gonat - Jul 22, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Joe, another issue with Zach Duke is that he isn't on the 40 man. It may be difficult getting him on the roster unless a trade takes place.

  31. UnkyD - Jul 22, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Gonat said…Feel Wood said… What a loser. Peric that is, not Lannan. July 22, 2012 12:33 AM ____________________________Isn't that the truth. If Lannan pitched a no-hitter while giving up a 2 walks, Peric would complain that he didn't have a Perfect Game.—————————Okay… Lighten up, both of youse. Peric manned up, right after the game, and gave LannEn his props, and admitted he was pleasantly surprised…Credit, where credit is due, of you please…?

  32. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 22, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Unkyd…..don't be fooled. That was nothing more than a defensive tactic to provide an opportunity for future self gloating.

  33. JayB - Jul 22, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    In that spirt….Roger B. is proving me wrong. DeRosa looks good for once this year. As noted I think Davey if the reason they are where they are so no change there….He did really F up the first game and cost them big but…he is the best manager in baseball still.WANG, HROD, with NADY and ANKIL before them are huge mistakes and Rizzo needs to admit he was wrong and free up roster space for people who could help. Those two will never help this team so who cares if the lose them. Rizzo cares because he wasted time, money and wins on them.Trade for a real catcher is our biggest need and roster space for people who can help today not someday….maybe…types like HROD or Wang

  34. #natitude - Jul 22, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    who the hell is peric?

  35. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 22, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Thanks JayB…..I've been trying to get you to acknowledge Roger. Davey has been in his corner for 7 weeks mow.

  36. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 22, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    now

  37. JayB - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    auh….not that spirit I hope Njack

  38. UnkyD - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    NJ: I posted yesterday about having grown up, with my team… Peric is now my Nutty Nephew; I have boogied for him, when he gets wound up, and a pat on the back, when it's deserved… I'd rather skim through his advanced stats, and sanctimony (after all, he's not the only one afflicted that way), than the drop-of-a-hat negativity exhibited by some others…and I even look upon them with Unclish Indulgence, as well :-)———————–UnkyD said…I have grown with my team. Last year, the drop-of-hat-negativity would raise my blood pressure, and keep me from enjoying the company of my imaginary friends. No more… I actually get a kick out of the Doom Squad. The predictability of the Legion of Chicken Littles is like knowing exactly what Daffy or Elmer will do next, and still LMFAO when Bugs lays them low.It's simple, guys…. I enjoy the whole ride. Because I Believe. Some of y'all…not so much… See ya tomorrow……July 20, 2012 11:37 PM  

  39. NCNatsie - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Lannen's comment about playing in a game that "really meant something<" may say something important and encouraging about his motivation.When he was sent down last spring, I posted a memory of him I had — about a game that "really meant something" — to him anyway.It was the day he didn't give up Barry Bonds' record-breaking home run, like last night a gritty performance.I thought of my post as a sort of valedictory for Lannen, because I expected him to be traded. Anyway, combine those games with his unimpressive record in Syracuse and you get the feeling that maybe the boy needs "meaning" in order to bring out his best.If so, he should be just fine in September.

  40. UnkyD - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    …boogied, for him?! NOOGIES! Noogies for him… (sheesh! Spellcheck needs to get out more, if it's never heard of noogies….)

  41. mick - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. mick - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    mick said…sjm is correct that if any trade is made it should only involve Hrod. At this point, even a diamond if the rough type prospect, any thing, cash would be worth trading Hrod. It would also stake the stress off Davey of having to send a player down. I can not believe some in here have mentioned trading Lombo as part of a deal, no way! Lombo is going to be a player like BJ Surhoff, very valuable

  43. ehay2k - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Yes, peric did give Lannan credit. Not sure what the first comment in this thread – the missing photo? – is about.

  44. mick - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  45. Joe Seamhead - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Yesterday Cole Hamels was left in to throw 128 pitches. The day before Worley threw 119 pitches, both in losing efforts for the Phillies. Last year Manuel did the same thing repeatedly with Lee and Halladay. This is one of the reasons that club is sucking wind now. The talk is they are going to keep Cole,but it will take a big money and a six year contract to do so.if they do it, the Phills will just be digging a deeper hole for themselves. They should restock their barren farm with prospects for him.JayB, Johnson said he feels we have the pieces in-house to compete and that he is against trading our prospects. I think that his reference was mainly to pitching, but I don't think he has any problem with our catchers, either.I agree that the sands are draining through the hourglass for CMW, but I doubt that HRod is going to be DFA'ed.I'm with Davey. Barring something totally unexpectedly offered that Rizzo can't refuse, we're going home with the date we brought to the dance.

  46. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    NatsJack, thanks for your comment at 8:41. Just wondering why people so reactionary? Lannan has always been a good back of the rotation guy who looks at times like a #3 but faded to a #4 last August. Again the word of caution to Rizzo is DON'T OVERUSE HIM in Syracuse.I will also say again that like what Stammen did this past off-season, Lannan did the previous off-season in coming in great shape.Props to Detwiler who is working hard during the season. He is getting great mentoring.I know Ross is getting married December 1st and hope that he gets together with Gio and Lannan after his honeymoon. If the trio could all work on a Steve Carlton heavy slider I think all 3 will benefit. Maybe Gio can help them with his curve.

  47. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    ehay, Peric was pouncing on Lannan right after the 1st inning. I wouldn't expect anything different from him. He gets more attention here than posters who make objective thought out posts.Even after the game he was writing revisionist history on Lannans 2011 that wasn't backed by stats. He is just a hater.A shame.

  48. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Biggest need is probably a top catcher rental. Any suggestions?

  49. Frediemac - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Congrats to Big John. Hope to see him in September to help lead us to a Series Ring. Go Nats! Big Game tonight biggest so far at least. Need a win bad today.

  50. Feel Wood - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… Biggest need is probably a top catcher rental. Any suggestions?There have been rumors of Wil Nieves who is currently on the DL for the Rockies. Charlie and Dave are fresh with the dance steps having practiced them in the two recent Rox series, should Rizzo want to get the band back together.

  51. hiramhover - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Glad to see Lannan back, if only for one game, and hope to see him back in good form later this season–the Nats are going to need him.Congrats to him for pitching a very good game, and to the whole team for putting an end to this losing streak. They win today, and they finish this series with the same lead they held at the start–sounds good to me.

  52. Gonat - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… I know Ross is getting married December 1st and hope that he gets together with Gio and Lannan after his honeymoon. If the trio could all work on a Steve Carlton heavy slider I think all 3 will benefit. Maybe Gio can help them with his curve. July 22, 2012 10:20 AM _______________________________http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/cliff-lees-pitch-type-splits/This is a really good article and analysis of Cliff Lee in 2010 and what he was throwing. He has 3 fastballs to add to a changeup, curve and slider. I think Ross could use 1 more pitch. Gio doesn't throw a slider and Lannan could also benefit from 1 more pitch in his arsenal.The best lefty starters have more than 3 pitches to go after the RH batters.

  53. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Feel Wood, I like Wil but he isn't durable enough to play every day. Nats need a + arm to stop the running game.

  54. Feel Wood - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    If they sign a rental catcher he's not going to play every day. 2-3 days a week at most.

  55. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    don't know about his defense but I would think Mathis is about expendable in Toronto.

  56. Feel Wood - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    Nats need a + arm to stop the running game.No, they need their pitchers to stop the running game. A plus arm catcher won't help.

  57. Gonat - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Feel Wood, HenRod won't ever stop the running game.

  58. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    I'm with Feel on the base stealing issue. The Nats pitchers are horrible at holding runners and slow to the plate.

  59. LoveDaNats - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    Happy for John. I'll never forget his debut game where he hit Howard and Utley and got tossed. He seems used to adversity. I really hope he is part of this team come September.Heading to the ballpark. I really hope for a win today. And no rain. Our guys are not their best in the rain.Man, I love this team.

  60. Gonat - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    Flores played very well when he was behind Ramos. It might help to get a catcher who can play 4 days a week and play Flores every other day.The rigors of catcher has never been more evident than what we have witnessed in 2012.

  61. mick - Jul 22, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    what is wrong with Leon, Solano and a rested Flores….

  62. Joe Seamhead - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Feel Wood, every one of the steals in this series have been on the pitchers. We could've had Bench back there in his prime and it would not of made any difference. This is an area where our pitchers need a lot of improvement.

  63. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Best way for Henry to keep runners not stealing is to stop giving them Ball Fours.

  64. Gonat - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    On the British Open discussing a rule violation, "There is a ton of experts on Twitter, I'll tell you that, yeeez, what a bunch of CLOWNS".___________________________Even on the other side of the pond they are using Clown-speak.

  65. Gonat - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… Best way for Henry to keep runners not stealing is to stop giving them Ball Fours. July 22, 2012 11:05 AM _________________________________Touché!

  66. Gonat - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Whoa, Miguel Batista has been DFA'd?

  67. Gonat - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Caines ‏@bobby_0081 @espn I don't appreciate being called a clown by a commentator on the British Open broadcast.

  68. JamesFan - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Who would have imagined that John Lannan would be the winner of the biggest game of the season so far? Clutch win under the most extreme pressure. Baseball is a crazy, often cruel game, and this is a great story.

  69. mick - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Lannan just option back to minors

  70. mick - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    i am floored, why not keep him up say goodbye to Henry?

  71. JayB - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Flores is too small and clearly worn out by catching everyday. Solono is a good choice but on DL…..Leon….does not block wide pitches…..worse….past balls….he may just have been having a bad week but THIS IS A PENNANT RACE….we need proven catching…not hope they can do it……That is what kills this team….Hope Wang will get better. Hope HROD gets a heart…..Hope Minor League bench bats hit….HOPE Mike C does not retire…..We are here people…we need to grab the ring…..that means trade for a proven catcher. Trade for a Bench Bat from the Left Side and cut dead weight in the Pen

  72. hiramhover - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    MickThis was always what they planned to do. To keep Lannan as a starter they'd have to demote Ross or someone else to the BP, which they're not going to do. And they don't consider Lannan a viable BP option. Better to let Lannan keep starting in the minors and call him back up in Sept.

  73. mick - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    hiram… why not have him throw middle relief and see if he could do that in the interim?

  74. mick - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    I just think there is an obsession with Hrod that the nats have, why not just cuut ties with him and that way Lannan can at least stay with the team

  75. UnkyD - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Job 1 in the off season? Working with ALL the pitchers on holding runners, and getting the pitch office efficiently. Our current strategy seems to be indifference, and it's gonna kill us in crunch time, when close games rule the day.

  76. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    mick, if you don't why Lannan and not Henri, you need to go to Nats Journal.

  77. mick - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    natsjack… what is Nats Journal?

  78. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Job 1A in the off season? Finding a first-string catcher. I've been Kid Flores' biggest backer, but he's being overworked. We really miss Pudge's leadership, defense and handling of pitchers. I'm chalking up some of the blame for last week's bullpen catchers on the fact our catchers are just mediocre. Anybody decent out there? I hate Baltimore, but I'd die for Wieters right now.

  79. UnkyD - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Mick, Mick, Mick….. What's the point of taking John out of his rythym, rather than keeping him on a starters schedule in 'Cuse? Plus… You're just screwing with his head, if he fails at middle relief…. Drop Henry, of you like… But Johnny's been through enough….

  80. mick - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    I know Henry is taking up space that could be better used even if one disagrees on whether or not Lannan should stay up or not. Is that problem, i am not the only one who feels this way about HRod, or better yet, I am he only one you single out.

  81. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    it's a site where a whole bunch of posters with little knowledge visit.

  82. UnkyD - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Pitch office….. My thumb is having a rough morning… Getting the pitch off…of course…(sheesh…)

  83. mick - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    NatsJack in Florida really… so an insult… why don't you go there clown.you have an attitude and the fact that there have been posters with similar views and you ONLY single me out is now a problem pal. I am on to you and that other joker in FL

  84. UnkyD - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    A pitcher will go down, tomorrow, on order to bring up a bench bat… Maybe you'll get your wish, Mick…it certainly wouldn't break my heart…

  85. mick - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    You better be consistent with others you disagree with because I will call you out every time, how cowardly. So everyone can have an opinion expcept me. I challenge you to show me a single post this morning that is more offensive than you telling me to go to Nats Journal. That would be like me telling you to go the Tea Party room

  86. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Early post of the day candidate from NatsJack, on what is Nats Journal:NatsJack in Florida said… it's a site where a whole bunch of posters with little knowledge visit.

  87. mick - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Unky… OK

  88. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Why do we need another catcher? Yeah, JFlo has had some problems, but no less than Pudge has approved of his back-stopping performance this year. I'll take Pudge's evaluation over anyone here, any day. And it sure looks like young Leon handled Lannen as well as anyone could expect from a 22-year-old rookie yesterday. Who, besides Pudge, has ever handled him better?And Solano has thrown out 3 of 8 base runners, a 38% clip. Leon is 0 for 2, but he would not be playing if Solano were available. Solano is 11 for 37 with 2 dingers (.314), and Leon is 4 for 9, an eye-popping .444. Together they are 15 for 46, or about .325. Yeah, a small sample, but what is there in any of it that would justify bringing in someone else, and at what price? Solano, in particular, has been very good behind the plate, and has hit much better than expected. Even with the slow deliveries of the Nats hurlers, he is throwing out base runners at a better than average ML clip.Interesting what they are doing with Brown at Syracuse. He has been moved out of the leadoff slot to the 3 slot, with Perez taking over as the leadoff hitter. Brown actually has much more credible stats as a leadoff guy than Perez. Still, with his numbers, he projects as more of a power hitter than a leadoff man.With both Ankiel and Nady gone, the Nats have reduced the number of OFs on the 40-man. Don't really know what they have in mind, with Werth on the verge of a return and the Shark suddenly a force at the plate, but I don't think they are done making changes to the roster. You can always use a LH power hitter with a .380 OBP and enough speed to steal 20 bases per year, if not more, and who can play plus defense in CF or at the corners.The trade deadline is little more than a week away. What will Rizzo do? One of the 8 relievers is bound to go, either by trade or by option back to the minors. CMW looks to have played out his string, and could just be DFA'd. He has no trade value, and Lannen's performance yesterday probably removes him from consideration as a September call-up. DeRosa?Rizzo has some superfluous parts and the options to deal with existing weaknesses without mortgaging the farm.

  89. Steady Eddie - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    mick — Nats Jack "singled you out" because you post a disproportionate amount of vitriol in as many posts as the rest of us combined, at least when peric's not here.Nats Jack's underlying point was very simple. Everyone here should know that there's no room for Lannan on the 25 man not because of the overall numbers but because John is not and will not be a reliever. And Det will be the #5 over Lannan for the same reason he was coming out of spring training. Lannan and HRod are not functionally interchangeable, end of story.

  90. JayB - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Oh Njack does not just pick on you mick….no one is exempt from his I have drinks with these guys so I am as smart as them…..But lets be honest….Rizzo has made lots of mistakes….like Njack he can not admit them…..The list of failed Rizzo signings is long….very long.

  91. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Nobody is singling you out for your desire to dump Henri. It's your inability to understand the Nats pitching staff structure.

  92. JayB - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    HROD has no value Eddie…..Lannan could at least throw a strike….it may go out of the park but at least he would not wild pitch in run after run after walking the bases full…..HROD is a Rizzo joke.

  93. mick - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    agree with Ladie Blah Blah…. we need to stick with our catchers and use them wisely. I would not make any trade unless the other team goes stupid and that should only be for a stud starter or another closeranother bat is not necessary with both Werth and Tracy back… and since everyone is high on Corey Brown, the last thing we need is another bat.

  94. JayB - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    HROD is a Dukes and Lastings Wang pipe dream type….something this team should have moved way past by now….If he does turn out to be OK sometime down the line for the Astros….who cares….we must have a full 25 man roster of contributors.

  95. mick - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    whatever

  96. Steady Eddie - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    JayB you're simply ignoring what I wrote. Whether or not we keep Lannan has nothing to do with HRod. I was not making a point about HRod. As both Nats Jack and I wrote, keeping Lannan or not is entirely a question of who's in the rotation. Lannan is not going to the bullpen so it's absurd to talk about him vs Harod. Period.

  97. JayB - Jul 22, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Lannan could go the the Bpen and help the team now. RHOD hurts the team right now. Right now is when we will make the post season or not. (next month).

  98. mick - Jul 22, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    At some point decisions on HRod and Wang have to be made before July 31, why not just bite the bullet and trade them. I am on record of being a huge Wang fan, but now I recognize it may be too late for him,the Nats were more than patient, it just did not work out

  99. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 22, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    JayB…..when one speaks in absolutes one leaves themselves open for rebutal comments. Most of us qualify our opinions and allow for potential future alltered conditions i.e. injuries, trades, or in the case of Ian Desmond, professional developement.And not one single GM, Manager, or player is mistake free.

  100. Steady Eddie - Jul 22, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    And with that… Onto the game thread! As the Ank, Nady etc. moves show, Rizzo will make his calls in due time.

  101. JayB - Jul 22, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Good GM's or anything….can cut their losses and correct mistakes before their decision contiue to hurt the team. WANG and HROD and NADY and Ankil before them….cost the team wins now

  102. NatsJim - Jul 22, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    "Steady Eddie said…mick — Nats Jack "singled you out" because you post a disproportionate amount of vitriol in as many posts as the rest of us combined"+1Vitriolic posts which also demonstrate a disproportionate level of ignorance regarding the game along with increasingly hyperbolic over-reactionary "clown" comments.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 46 --
ATLANTA 58 48 0.5
MIAMI 52 53 6.0
NEW YORK 51 55 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 60 12.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

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MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
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