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Overcoming Philly demons

Sep 27, 2012, 5:21 AM EST

US Presswire photo
Nationals fans in Philly applaud Jayson Werth following an 8-4 victory.

PHILADELPHIA — For John Lannan, the moment came in the bottom of the third, when faced with a bases-loaded jam he struck out Ryan Howard and got Carlos Ruiz on a comebacker.

For Jayson Werth, the moment came in the top of the ninth, when faced with a riled up Phillies crowd in what had become a one-run game he delivered a two-run dagger of a base hit to silence the angry mob.

And for the Nationals, the moment came a few minutes later, when Drew Storen got John Mayberry Jr. to ground out harmlessly to third base and seal an 8-4 victory that moved this team one step closer to the NL East crown and exorcised some Philadelphia demons in the process.

“A big game, a big outing for John,” shortstop Ian Desmond said. “That was a huge win for us.”

They’re all huge at this stage of the calendar year, each win lowering the magic number — it’s now down to 4 — and reducing the plausibility of a last-minute flip-flop of teams atop the NL East standings.
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  1. peric - Sep 27, 2012 at 5:28 AM

    Five and 1/3 82 pitches. Davey might be protecting him … but you know I do wish he would apply the same rules / logic to Clippard. No reason to take a chance on Lannan losing all that he had gained in the first 5 1/3 so after a walk in comes Mattheus. Perhaps the same should apply to Tyler Clippard given that no one is sure what's wrong?

  2. peric - Sep 27, 2012 at 5:29 AM

    Three more stolen bases after the 1 today and Harper gets to 20/20.

  3. peric - Sep 27, 2012 at 5:35 AM

    I am talking about the Montreal Expos franchise which came into existence in 1969 And the Orioles used to be the St. Louis Browns and once upon a time the Oakland Athletics were the ancient (in baseball standards) Philadelphia Athletics. And the original Nationals go back to the late 1800's. The franchise that won those world series was not the first. AND TEXAS was originally a newly minted franchise set in Washington DC and was called the Senators?Your point is just plain silly. Washington DC has a high school named after a hall of fame pitcher. How many other places have done that?Back to Tony's bandwagon with ya!

  4. peric - Sep 27, 2012 at 5:44 AM

    Section 222 said…Michele, are there actually reports, or just peric proclamations?And exactly the source I attributed it to … as MichelleS keeps repeating over-and-over suddenly … do I hear an echo?What a lame brain.

  5. Secret wasian man - Sep 27, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    Nice to see nats fans up in philthy. Although why wouldn't you go there? Everyone is so NICE.

  6. baseballswami - Sep 27, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    Wow. Espn reporting Bo will be the Astros manager next year. I don't know whether to be happy for him or feel sorry for him.

  7. Laddie Blah Blah - Sep 27, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    Best portrayal of a villain in the on-deck circle? Jason Werth.Best performance by a teen-age slugger? Bryce Harper.Most adroit removal of a monkey from one's back? John Lannan.Best pratfall by a CFer? Bryce Harper. Most clutch performance by a maligned veteran? John Lannan.The Sour Grapes Award for converting a baseball rivalry into a personal vendetta? The City of Brotherly Love.Best ad lib moment during an at-bat? Jason Werth's 9th inning single.(Loud, obnoxious, prolonged booing is detected at some God-forsaken location believed to be somewhere in southeastern Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, an air of anticipation grips the nation's capital).Envelope, please. And the winner of the NL East championship is -Tune in, next time, when the winner will be revealed.

  8. NatsNut - Sep 27, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Boz is right. All of this is just delicious. Even the jaw-clenching, gut-knotting suspense is great when you think about it.I don't know what to think of Clippard. Surely he can't just start sucking all of a sudden like this. It has to be something physical that is starting to affect the mental. Has to be.

  9. Joe Seamhead - Sep 27, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Joe Seamhead - Sep 27, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Joe Seamhead - Sep 27, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    It was a great game. Lannan pitched his heart out. Did he pitch great? No, but he pitched a great game.

  12. Joe Seamhead - Sep 27, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    And as to Jayson Werth, I can't say that I was never happier for a player, but I couldn't have been happier for him then I was last night.GYFNG!Bartender! Could we get some coffee over here?

  13. natsfan1a - Sep 27, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Comak on Werth's postgame interview (Have I mentioned lately that I heart Jayson Werth?):"Well earlier in the game I flipped a ball in the seats in right field to a fan and it bounced off her hands and landed on somebody else's lap. And then a guy reached over, a Phillies fan reached over into her lap, grabbed the ball and then threw it back on the field."In the ninth when I got the ball, I was going to flip the ball to a group of kids, and then behind the kids were like all these unruly middle-aged men that, to me, appeared to be snarling. And it's the ninth. Who knows. I kind of got the sense that maybe they were intoxicated, but maybe not."So I was going to flip it to the kids and then I thought maybe I shouldn't because the people right behind those innocent little children there. So I just flipped it into the dugout and evidently that rubbed some people the wrong way. But after the events in right field I just felt that it was better to maybe not throw it into the stands."Werth's hit silenced the crowd, though, and most of them then went streaming for the exits.So what happened to those innocent little children then?"You know I looked in when I was on first base and Mikey (Morse) was feeding what seemed like the whole bag of balls. So I think he made up for it for me."

  14. natsfan1a - Sep 27, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    On a Lannan note, and as I said last night: Atta way, John-Boy! After being called back up, all he's done is win his two starts. On the road. Oh, and performed an exorcism in Philly. All in a day's work for him. :-)

  15. natsfan1a - Sep 27, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Oh, wait. Two of his three starts. Anyhoo…is that coffee ready yet?

  16. MicheleS - Sep 27, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    Peric, you aren't the only person that reads Luke's stuff. And as I had stated, you have had Rendon slated for 3b, although to be fair, you have recently posted that he might go to 2b. And as a serious question, How do you have Rendon going to 2b when you have Espi as the player with the highest upside of anyone on the team? Where does Espi go if Rendon goes to 2b?

  17. MicheleS - Sep 27, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    And a hardy congrats to Bo Porter on his 1st Managerial job. I hope he gets a fair shot in Houston, they will probably not be good for a few years and they will have to adjust to being in the AL. Its a young team that has some good players that just need to be groomed. Hopefully they can develop some pitching because that is what they are going to need most to make them watchable while they develop position players.

  18. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 27, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    I'm hearing.Bo Porter is going to be the new manager of, Houston. Maybe an opening for DeRosa next year.

  19. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 27, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    Ok MicheleS, I owe you a drink.

  20. MicheleS - Sep 27, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Ghost,Would DeRo be our 3B coach?

  21. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 27, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    MicheleS, it would be an odd move to give DeRosa a promotion like that but who better could their be?

  22. sjm308 - Sep 27, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    Hi Everyone:Down in Charlottesville for a few days. Great city but I was worried about Nats coverage. No worries, as we walked the downtown mall area the game was on just about every bar & nice restaurant. I settled in for the 7th, watched Matheus & Clip give some runs back, walked a little further because I was nervous, and went crazy when Werth & Harper delivered. Its late and there aren't many old guys making noise in bars but there I was!! I did not stay for Storen but left pretty damn sure things were good.I want to talk about Suzuki. He is now up to .271 and slugging over .400. I also think he has handled the staff well and I realize Ramos is a fan favorite but I think he is just another example of the great job Rizzo has done. I also continue to be so happy for LannEn. 4-0 and all of them have been clutch. What a great resource to have, late in the season and he has to be as confident as he ever has in his career. I also think this allows him that next big contract. If not with us, certainly someone will look at a lefty that has had decent success with a poor team and great success with a winner. I would not be upset to see him come back (peric just fell off the couch).Go Nats!! Score First!! Win the Division!!

  23. MicheleS - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Ghost. I would figure DeRo would do TV work. He is actually really good at that. I would think they might bring one of the minor league guys up for the 3B job. Rizzo/Davey seem to like to promote from within.

  24. mick - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    sjm308 great point on Suzuki… this looks like a brilliant Rizzo move more and more each game. I really like this young man. Beyond the clutch hitting, he is a calming influence on the pitchers

  25. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    MicheleS, certainly in the unwritten rules of baseball you would be correct. Even coaches are supposed to pay they their dues in the Minors.

  26. mick - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said…I'm hearing.Bo Porter is going to be the new manager of, Houston. On Mike and Mike the said it is official

  27. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    I have said for several that Suzuki should come out if Spring Training as the #1 to allow Ramos to come back slowly.That means Flores will be traded.

  28. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Thanks Mick. Its obviously a promotion for Bo but that is now an American League team going forward and the challenges immense.

  29. natsfan1a - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    There's a story on the Astros site saying that there will be a presser at 10 AM CT. Congrats to Porter on landing his first MLB managing gig.

  30. mick - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Ghost.. I am very happy for Bo and that is good point about Astros going to AL.

  31. hiramhover - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    1aThe thing I especially like about that Werth quote is how it turns the knife on Phillies fans' reputation for drunken loutishness. I have no idea how much of the story is true, but no one is going to have any trouble accepting the premise.Any congrats to Bo!

  32. baseballswami - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    We have been having the "heir apparent" discussion about who replaces Davey when,( if), he retires. I think Randy Knorr just took the lead in that race.

  33. Dave - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    I'll miss Bo–one of the best third-base coaches we've had–but I'm glad he's starting his managerial career. It's easy to say that he'll have a tough row to hoe in Houston, but remember how recently it was that the Nats were that bad.

  34. mick - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    baseballswami I agree, Knorr is front runner, although, if Nats win Series this year…. would Davey retire? I think Davey loves this team and would stay regardless, what do you all think?

  35. bowdenball - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Our HAMN is down to just 2!HAMN is Hudson-Adjusted Magic Number. It's a stat I invented wherein game results are adjusted to account for the utter incompetence of umpire Marvin Hudson.

  36. Another_Sam - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Due to the inconvenience of working for a living – business travel – I missed a lot last night. I pulled out my phone early on final approach and was booted up before touchdown to find Werth batting in the 9th. Great fun – I missed the stress and got the elation. The scoreboard to watch now is the Reds.

  37. sjm308 - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Mick – I think he stays at least one more year.1. He is having fun2. Health seems fine3. He likes these guys4. Full year of Strasburg & Harper5. Rizzo & he seem to be on the same page more often than not

  38. Another_Sam - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    Anyone on base with Harper behind – either on base or batting – has got to be aggressive on the paths or he'll have cleat prints on his back.

  39. mick - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    bowdenball lolololo I love itsjm… agreed

  40. Drew - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Harper's historic season, continued:Two 19- year-olds in major league history have more doubles than Harper's 23.Hall of Famer Robin Yount had 28 for the 1975 Brewers. Hall of Famer Mel Ott had 26 for the 1928 Giants.Harper is tied at 23 with two other 19-year-olds. Ken Griffey Jr. had 23 doubles for the 1989 Mariners and Bob Kennedy had 23 doubles for the 1940 White Sox.If you're wondering about the provenance of these stats, I found that back in May somebody at Fangraphs ran the numbers on every 19-year-old from 1871 to 2012.If you tool around a bit and change the "dashboard" to standard stats, you can compare players in many different categories.Note: These numbers are for 19-year-olds. Great seasons at 18 are extraordinarily rare, but there are a few. For instance, at 18 Phil Cavarretta had 28 doubles for the 1935 Cubs, which ties Yount's record for teenagers.

  41. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    The Kardiac Kids almost did me in last night. My heart was pounding and couldn't believe Davey didn't yank Clip. I really had to take a swig of antacids.

  42. mick - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    maybe I am wrong, but John Lannan may be the most under rated story this season. what he went through and now what he had done in every critical game is amazing!

  43. mick - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    on another note, I was so wrong abut the Yankees a month ago… i thought they were fading and would be a quick exit in the playoffs, instead, these rascals are showing why they may be unbeatable in October, I hope I am wrong about that too

  44. Another_Sam - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    308 – you've heard me opine on this before: your imputed reasoning above on Davy applies to playground games, but these guys are professionals like the rest of us. You left out the key factors of $$$, working conditions, perks, and control. I guess I'm saying that I always try to remember that these guys are all committed professionals. But still it's great fun for us. Just my $0.02. But I get exactly your point.

  45. Another_Sam - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Mick – good point on Lannan. Enough of this hotel breakfast and my drivel. I gotta put thi iPad away and go in.

  46. mick - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    being the goof ball that I am, Mark's title Overcoming Phillies Demons: looking at John Lannan, he looks about like the late actor Jason Miller in his most famous role. Father John "Damien" Lannan indeed overcome those nasty philly demons last night, lol

  47. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Mick, no doubt on Lannan and his detractors before every start try to get negative on him.July 21st was the most important win of Lannan's career and for the Nats. Big Game John Lannan is 4-0 now.The team rallies around Lannan. That is an intangible that you have to factor in. Again wouldn't be surprised to see John Lannan inserted for any playoff series against the Barves.

  48. natsfan1a - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    Agreed, hhover. Also enjoyed the rather formal and incredulous tone ("these unruly middle-aged men that, to me, appeared to be snarling"). I only wish that I could have seen/heard the actual performance. At any rate, well played, Jayson. :-)hiramhover said… 1a The thing I especially like about that Werth quote is how it turns the knife on Phillies fans' reputation for drunken loutishness. I have no idea how much of the story is true, but no one is going to have any trouble accepting the premise. September 27, 2012 8:21 AM

  49. Another_Sam - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    The new stopper – Lannan. Yes.

  50. mick - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    I agree Ghost, I could see post season in Lannan's future. Depends clearly on the situation at the time, etc…Also, I too am assuming the Braves win the WC game, however, I would not count the Cards out of a 1 game playoff just yet.

  51. NatsNut - Sep 27, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    I have never stopped adoring John Lannan. Not for a second. Of all the bobbleheads I've collected, his is the only one on display in my living room (how's that for proof of my affection?).His getting sent down broke my heart. I can't be happier for the guy now and just this once I'd love to go back and find every last word of criticism he got this year and post it here. I won't but I really want to.

  52. natsfan1a - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    I can attest that NatsNut has always been in John's corner. :-)

  53. alm - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Great win.Lannan has come up big this year but NatsNut I have to assume you bought that Lannan bobble because the Nats have not had a Lannan bobblehead giveaway. What I am happy about is that the Nats starting pitching is so good that John is our 6th best starter. I don't want to go back to the days when he was our opening day pitcher. No way he makes any post-season series roster.I was relieved when Burnett was warming and shocked when Clip got up and when he came into the game. He looks like a lost puppy on the mound. Davey keeps trotting him out there with the game on the line and he keeps peeing on the mound. He needs to put him into less stressful situations to let him get his confidence back.Last night Jason's clutch hit was unbelievable. When he swung at that slider for strike 2 I thought he was a gonner. I have been a big critic but last night he won me over for good.Harper is a joy to watch, I just hope the voters (not sure who votes for rookie of the year) pick him over Miley.Going Monday and Wednesday – but they will clinch before then.GO NATS!

  54. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    This is nit-picking, peric, but the school named after Walter Johnson is in Bethesda, not Washington. I should know. My wife teaches math there. The yearbook is called the "Pitch." Morning announcements are called "signals." Etc. etc. Like I said, it's nit-picking. Great school, though. My two daughters graduated from there, one to McGill and Georgetown and the other to BYU. We're not talking NAIA here…

  55. natsfan1a - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  56. natsfan1a - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  57. natsfan1a - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Edited for clarity, er, and accuracy: The P-Nats had a Lannan bobblehead giveaway in 2009. I have one, too. :-)

  58. ehay2k - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    POTD to Another_Sam for using touchdown in a non-contrived way to discuss the Nats, and with no intended football reference!

  59. natsfan1a - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    I think he meant airplane touchdown.

  60. 320R2S15 - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    I have always really liked Johnny, felt bad for him this spring, but I also think the Nats made the correct decision. Gile is good in most cases, but it will only get you so far. No one seems to remember the Brewers game the other day. I've always said that John is a solid 5th starter for anyone.I would also give the credit for the Suzuki trade to Davey with perhaps a slight nod to Rizzo.

  61. NCNatsie - Sep 27, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    In my view, Lannan has earned his salary this year.

  62. Feel Wood - Sep 27, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    I have never stopped adoring John Lannan. Not for a second. Of all the bobbleheads I've collected, his is the only one on display in my living room (how's that for proof of my affection?).I don't recall any Lannan bobblehead days. But several of the Zimmerman bobbleheads they've had over the years looked a lot more like Lannan (aka Eyebrows) and could easily be converted with a little red paint on the back of the uniform.

  63. A DC Wonk - Sep 27, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    On that Werth hit up the middle in the ninth last night:Does anyone besides me think that the Phillie SS was lame on that? Ian would have dove and stopped that, easily. Probably Werth still gets a single — but only one run scores and not two.Did anyone else see that?

  64. A DC Wonk - Sep 27, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    A quick note about relievers that I've been meaning to write:We should consider ourselves lucky — well, actually: deep.The fact of the matter is: when Clippard is "on", he's one of the best. An all star. So, too, with Storen.How great has it been that when Storen had surgery, Clippard stepped up and ranked among the best relievers in baseball. And now that Clippard is slumping, Storen seems to be fully back, as potentially one of the best closers in baseball.The Nats have a great team. There's no other way to see it. (imho 😉 )

  65. Dryw Loves the Nats - Sep 27, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Wonk, I didn't notice, but I'd like to point out that (other than the joy of our guys being better than their guys), it's irrelevant. Bryce's triple then would've brought home two runs rather than one! (all else being the same) :-)

  66. Jim - Sep 27, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    "John's my guy." – Davey Johnson, 3/26/2012





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