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Frustrated by an old friend

Jul 9, 2013, 3:54 AM EDT

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — John Lannan is one of the most mild-mannered ballplayers you’ll ever meet, rarely showing much emotion when he stands on the mound. His pitching performances, though, often elicit some strong reactions, usually at either extreme of the emotional spectrum.

Just ask Ian Desmond for his thoughts after the Nationals’ 3-2 loss to the Phillies, with Lannan tossing eight scoreless innings to earn the victory against his former club.

“I feel like I just beat my head against the door for three hours,” said Desmond, who struck out three times. “Or however long that took.”

For the record, the game lasted only 2 hours, 40 minutes. It only felt longer for the Nationals, who arrived in Philadelphia flying high after busting out of their season-long offensive slump over the previous week, only to be completely dismantled by their old pal-turned-adversary.

Lannan carved up the Nationals in a performance that rivaled any other in his career. In parts of six seasons in D.C., the left-hander made 134 starts. Only once did he toss eight or more innings of scoreless baseball.
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  1. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:33 AM

    Desi summed it up perfectly. It was a four-aspirin game. Get him later today, fellas.

  2. Secret wasian man - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    I hope Rizzo gets heartburn over this one.

  3. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    Lannan was up, in the zone, all game long. That is usually terminal, for him, but the Nats just whiffed at his straight, high fast balls all night long. It was weird to watch.

  4. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    Lannan is really making us pay for that non-tender.

  5. MicheleS - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    Faraz, Lannan only makes us pay when we play him, look at the rest of his record, plus the fact that he was on the DL for over a month. Same goes for EJax.. many a cub fans would gladly send him packing.Haren wasn't as bad as most of us thought he would be, in fact, he was exactly what you would expect for a #5 starter. I am encouraged by that.Can anyone explain why this offense has such a hard time against soft tossers?

  6. fast eddie - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    I know we can't hit soft-tossing lefties, but that was embarrassing to watch, especially since we know Lannan so well. Made me want to grab a stick and get up there.Lannan may be low-key but you know he's loving every minute of this win.

  7. mick - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    I am happy for Lannan…would have been a perfect outcome for Nats if they had won it in the 9th…a win and Lannan would not have gotten the loss

  8. mick - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    I watched MASN so i did not hear the ESPN analyst comment on Eck…what did he say?

  9. baseballswami - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    He took advantage of our agressive philosophy, which he is fully aware of. Let the hitters get themselves out. Raise your hand if you saw such a low scoring game coming tonight with those two era's! I have a theory about our offense– our offense seems to do better when our pitchers set up a good tempo . Think about it. Is it a coincidence that they hit better with JZ? Now that Gio and Stras have found a groove– sharp tempo, get the defense on and off the field, no long standing around– the offense gets in a rhythm also. Dan Haren works so slow, the first inning was an eternity, the pace is so darn plodding . I think that this season that pacing of the game has an effect on the offense. Just a theory. It's painful to watch Haren pitch. Nice to see the offense rally, but two sac flies and Chad Tracy? Not enough. Maybe if that darned youngster was still on the bench…… ( wink, wink).

  10. mick - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    from last post…sjm makes a good point about losses, but, there are some good things in the long term in some losses, such as Haren pitching well

  11. natsfan1a - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Missed the middle innings but…dang, John. Congrats, or something. Was hoping the Nats could give Pap another blown save but 'twas not to be. Let's see what tonight brings.

  12. mick - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:59 AM

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  13. mick - Jul 9, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Haren did keep the ball down…if that is consistent, that will be good and no gopher balls last night

  14. Get Your Re(n)d On - Jul 9, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Between Detwiler, Haren and Taylor Jordan the Nats have about 1.5 MLB starter equivalents. Problem is that these guys are filling two rotation spots. Rizzo still needs to be shopping for starting pitching.

  15. mick - Jul 9, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    Jordan may be that guy down the strectch

  16. mick - Jul 9, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    also coach… I don't know what your record was at Maryland but in the CCSDA you did not lose many and at that level you your more devoted to developing those swimmers for the next level and quite successful at it, so, wins and losses really were not the bottom line

  17. m - Jul 9, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    I feel so much better, after one of our losses, when people tell me how bad some of our former Nats are playing. I guess it not only makes up for our loss but also for the fact that Haren's ERA is over 6. For those trivia buffs I am told Haren's ERA is the higher than any other qualifying starting pitcher. I guess we don't have to worry as long as Lannan , Ejax or Morse, etc struggle when they next play. I have one question, since do we find a 6+ ERA acceptable for a number 5 starter? Lannan gives the Phillies 8 innings @$2.5mm and we have Haren for 5 innings @$13mm. It annoys me when people try to rationalize the Haren acquisition by citing the play of former Nats. This Haren mess is on Rizzo. Oh yes, Mike, and thanks for Span.

  18. Whack-a-Mule - Jul 9, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    "La vengeance est un plat qui se mange froid."-Pierre Choderlos, "Le Liaisons Dangereuses"("Revenge is a dish best eaten cold.")Mule notes that Mr. Lannan certainly seems to relish his "cold revenge" in repeated servings.Were he to pitch consistently as well as he did last night, he would be an All-Star. (Had he so done in years past, he would yet be a Nat.)

  19. baseballswami - Jul 9, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Losing to John just feels like Kharma. Hopefully it's over now and next time will be different.

  20. UnkyD - Jul 9, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    "La vengeance est un plat qui se mange froid."-Pierre Choderlos, "Le Liaisons Dangereuses"————-I had always attributed this quote to "The Count Of Monte Cristo", one of my very favorite reads, but wiki holds that it's origin is "obscure", although it is frequently mis-attributed to your source….Now this, from the 21st century philosopher, Loverro….:In past two years, #Nationals have spent nearly $25 million to essentially replace John Lannan #MLB

  21. UnkyD - Jul 9, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Just sayin'

  22. fast eddie - Jul 9, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    UnkyD:You ruined my day with the $25mil. quote. I hope Rizzo reads this.

  23. Eric - Jul 9, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    >Haren did keep the ball down…if that is consistent, that will be good and no gopher balls last nightAgreed. After he shook the rust off (1st inning), he did quite well. Really hope that's what we will see from him at least somewhat consistently going forward.Lannan looked great last night…d'oh!Really thought Werth got a hold of Papelbon…d'oh!

  24. Eric - Jul 9, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    PS – anyone worried about Harper's knee? Between him pulling up on the steal and pulling up on the foul fly ball in the bottom of the same inning, I got a little concerned.Also, If Harper hadn't pulled up, he very well might have scored on Zim's single that followed…c'est la base-ball!

  25. Tcostant - Jul 9, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    mick said… Jordan may be that guy down the strectchMe: Most likely this won't happen. Young pitcher coming off TJ surgery, who by most accounts is on an innings limit. He will be shut down before the "strectch" happen in the the most likely senerio.

  26. natsfan1a - Jul 9, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    As did I. D'oh!Eric said… Really thought Werth got a hold of Papelbon…d'oh!

  27. Get Your Re(n)d On - Jul 9, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Dan Haren team record in games pitched this year: 4-12.John Lannan team record in games pitched for Nats/Phils 2010-2013: 42-32. (This year for Phils: 5-3.)Should have just kept Lannan.

  28. Eric - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    You're comparing 3 years of stats to half a season?What's Haren's record from 2010 – 2013?

  29. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    UnkyD said… Now this, from the 21st century philosopher, Loverro….:In past two years, #Nationals have spent nearly $25 million to essentially replace John Lannan #MLB July 09, 2013 8:55 AM Why does fan perception change in reactive ways. Where was the outrage when Lannan was DFA'd? There were many who were celebrating the move and many thought it was nice of Rizzo to set John free but where were those that thought John should've been the #5 starter for 2013?Rizzo held on to Henry Rodriguez for almost 2 1/2 frustrating years and all John Lannan did during that same timeframe was give his teams 38 of 47 games of 3 earned runs or less in those same 2 1/2 years. That's 81% of all appearances.That's a better percentage than both Haren and Edwin Jackson who have combined in the same timeframe for 109 of 161 games of 3 earned runs or less in those same 2 1/2 years. That's 68% of all appearances. Just for your records, EJax is 53 of 80 for 66% and Haren is 56 of 81 for 69%.The fact is that John Lannan on average has given his teams a great chance to win in 81% of his starts. It's never been his fault he didn't receive good run support or bullpen support. W/L is irrelevant as Lannan has done his job and Rizzo wouldn't have needed to pay him any more than the Nats #1 catcher!

  30. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Get Your Re(n)d On said… Dan Haren team record in games pitched this year: 4-12.John Lannan team record in games pitched for Nats/Phils 2010-2013: 42-32. (This year for Phils: 5-3.)Should have just kept Lannan. July 09, 2013 9:53 AM That's a cool stat but W/L is misleading in so many ways, just ask Strasburg.Also, were you complaining when Lannan was sent to Syracuse last year? Just wondering if you are bandwagoning this in a rear view mirror.

  31. mick - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Everythin', everythin', everythin's gonna be alright this mornin' Ooh yeah, whoaw lol

  32. mick - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Tcostant ..I forgot about the TJ surgery,,,good pointEric…good post on Haren

  33. mick - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Werth had a great hit…anywhere else in that park.. it is gone

  34. bowdenball - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said…Rizzo held on to Henry Rodriguez for almost 2 1/2 frustrating years and all John Lannan did during that same timeframe was give his teams 38 of 47 games of 3 earned runs or less in those same 2 1/2 years. That's 81% of all appearances.You're cherry-picking stats. Why not just give his ERA ,or if you prefer his WHIP? After all, is "3 earned runs or less" really anything to brag about if it's done over only five innings, as has been the case in 2 of the 5 times he's done it this year? That equals a 5.40 ERA. Even over 6 innings it's still a 4.50 ERAAnd of course you cut off the Lannan analysis at 2.5 years- because his 2010 for the Nats was pretty much awful.Sorry, but if your ERA is above 4.00, your failures are not just a matter of "rood run support or bullpen support." National League teams don't scure 5 runs a game and bullpens don't have 0.00 ERAs. Lannan's failures are plain to anyone who doesn't cherry-pick his stats. Last night aside, he's a mediocre starting pitcher at best. Sure, Edwin Jackson and Dan Haren have been just as bad as Lannan, but most people thought they'd be better than Lannan. That they haven't been is simply Monday Morning Quarterbacking- at the time of the moves both guys had far better historical numbers and projections for the coming season than Lannan.

  35. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    Talk about almost a case of deja vous, I thought the biggest moment was LaRoche 1st pitch swinging after Werth was walked to put men on 1st and 2nd in the 4th inning.LaRoche just helped Lannan there. I was thinking of a similar inning last year when Lannan was facing the Dodgers and did the same thing with 2 outs and walked Kemp to put men on 1st and 2nd and then Adrian Gonzalez (lefty) worked a 2 strike count to a walk to load the bases and then the next batter got a single and the batter after him to take the lead.LaRoche was watching that game last September since he was playing 1st base in that game! Interesting that his plan was to swing at the 1st good strike which you just knew Johnny was going to throw him a sinker center cut to open up LaRoche's eyes and get him to top for a grounder. LaRoche bought that hook, line, and SINKER!

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Bowdenball, you can look at Lannan's average innings and I was objectively comparing 3 pitchers using the same criteria. Lannan has never had a good WHIP or xFIP but has had a pretty good ERA.

  38. UnkyD - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    Good points, Ghost… I was ambivalent.. But in the words of Coach Spurrier "Hindsight is 50/50…" My questions now are: would LannEn consider coming back, next year, Would Rizzo consider asking him, how much would it cost (there might be no more interest than last year…). Would you do it, for a reasonable 3yr deal? It might solidify things, he'd still be tradeable, might allow trading someone else in the system for a needed piece…..

  39. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Bowdenball, nobody said Lannan had a great 2010 but he had a really good 2011 when Rizzo made the big changes in defensive alignments. Groundball pitchers need good infielders.Lannan had a 3.70 ERA overall in 2011. That's pretty good in my book but since he couldn't throw 95 heat he was replaced by Edwin Jackson essentially.In 2012, the sample size is so small in 6 starts but if you removed that lousy Dodgers start, Lannan's ERA was 2.79 in the other 5 starts!

  40. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    "Déjà vous" is French for "YOU again?"I'll have to keep that one.; )("already seen" = déjà vu)

  41. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    By the way, Lannan's 2010 infield right-side was Adam Dunn and Adam Kennedy. His left side was Ryan Zimmerman and a rookie shortstop who made 34 errors.We used to cringe at all the extra pitches the Nats pitchers had to throw in 2010 due to all the errors, blunders, and bloopers.

  42. bowdenball - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said…"Bowdenball, you can look at Lannan's average innings and I was objectively comparing 3 pitchers using the same criteria."Not as far as I could tell. It looked like you just counted the number of times Lannan allowed 3 or less ER but ignored how many innings he allowed those runs over."Lannan has never had a good WHIP or xFIP but has had a pretty good ERA."He did this once, in 2011. I think that was the only year of his career that he had a lower ERA than Edwin Jackson (who pitched part of the year in the AL). And he's only had one seaosn before this one with a lower ERA than Dan Haren- 2012, when he only had six starts in the majors and stunk up the joint in AAA the rest of the year. So you could fairly say that John Lannan has NEVER had a better full season of pitching than Haren or Jackson.In retrospect those guys were disappointments and maybe no better than Lannan would have been, but they were both one year deals so who cares if they're no better than Lannan?

  43. BigCat - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Ghost. Follow up to last nightWhen the nats were losing 100 games a few years ago, there was one guy who took the ball every 5 days and went out and battled. He ate up innings and was always around .500 as a pitcher. One year his era was in the 3's. that guy was Lannan. I said back then on more than one occasion that if lannan was on the phillies he would be a 15 game winner

  44. Section 222 - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Reposting since it looks like the discussion is continuing on this post:Hey, anyone see the replay of Carlos Gomez's great catch of a Joey Votto bomb to end the MIL-CIN game yesterday? The split screen on MLB Network showed Votto pointing and arguing about something after the catch. Anyone hear what that was about?

  45. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    UnkyD said… Good points, Ghost… I was ambivalent.. But in the words of Coach Spurrier "Hindsight is 50/50…" My questions now are: would LannEn consider coming back, next year, Would Rizzo consider asking him, how much would it cost (there might be no more interest than last year…). Would you do it, for a reasonable 3yr deal? It might solidify things, he'd still be tradeable, might allow trading someone else in the system for a needed piece….. July 09, 2013 10:35 AM I think you always look to upgrade and I have never been shy about spending Mr. Lerner's money.Last year I wanted a true veteran presence in Kyle Lohse and would have stashed John in AAA once again since he had an option remaining and paid him well for it. We all knew that the Nats wouldn't survive the "no injury" bug 2 years in a row.I had said that if the Nats weren't going to upgrade to a "sure thing" like Lohse they should make Lannan their 5th starter as he would still be inexpensive at $6 to 7 million.I don't like hindsight. I like foresight. If you look at my suggested acquisitions the last few years that I proposed, this team would look slightly different but I think better. 3 years ago I was touting Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain as acquisitions. Cain got traded from the Brewers to the Royals and Gordon turned into a top Gold Glove LF who could leadoff. When those didn't happen I suggested Justin Upton for LF to keep Harp in CF. Not sure how my acquisition of Justin Upton would have turned out or keeping Mikey Morse for 1st base. It's fantasy baseball since my picks aren't for real ;)

  46. BigCat - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    222. I saw it. Great great catchI think Votto was questioning whether he had the ball. With these huge gloves some of the outfielders have, the ball can get lost

  47. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Section 222 said… Reposting since it looks like the discussion is continuing on this post:Hey, anyone see the replay of Carlos Gomez's great catch of a Joey Votto bomb to end the MIL-CIN game yesterday? The split screen on MLB Network showed Votto pointing and arguing about something after the catch. Anyone hear what that was about?Yes, Gomez never showed the ball and Votto thought it was a HR.I was watching MLB Network at the time they switched to that game. It was unreal and great post-game interview.

  48. BigCat - Jul 9, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    There was also a lot of people on here that wanted cancerous bj upton. Thank God we didn't bring him in here

  49. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    Bowdenball, you bring in EJax as a #3 pitcher but his stats tell you he is an inconsistent mess and on 2011 results wasn't better than Lannan over the course of a full season. The reasoning for Rizzo making the move was "veteran leadership and post-season experience" which is what got me to stand up and clap. It was a mirage of sorts. Yes, EJax was a good teammate it appeared but he faded in September and failed miserably in the post-season. It was by most measures a complete FAIL.

  50. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    BigCat said… Ghost. Follow up to last nightWhen the nats were losing 100 games a few years ago, there was one guy who took the ball every 5 days and went out and battled. He ate up innings and was always around .500 as a pitcher. One year his era was in the 3's. that guy was Lannan. I said back then on more than one occasion that if lannan was on the phillies he would be a 15 game winner July 09, 2013 10:50 AM Lannan's numbers in Bad Citizens Ballpark was horrible. I thought that was a bad decision for him to go there. I'm not rooting for him since he's a Philthy.If Lannan went to Oakland he would put up great numbers in that ballpark. Actually when John's sinker is sinking, he can pitch anywhere.

  51. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    BigCat said… There was also a lot of people on here that wanted cancerous bj upton. Thank God we didn't bring him in here July 09, 2013 11:02 AM The greatest trade ever proposed here was when someone who I won't mention said BJ Upton would be a star here and the answer to the Nats leadoff and CF. He said that BJ's friends with Ryan Zimmerman and this is close to home for him. His road numbers are great. I propose a trade of Detwiler and Bernadina for him and if they want more I would throw in Ian Desmond so I can move Espinosa to shortstop.

  52. bowdenball - Jul 9, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said…"Bowdenball, you bring in EJax as a #3 pitcher but his stats tell you he is an inconsistent mess and on 2011 results wasn't better than Lannan over the course of a full season. The reasoning for Rizzo making the move was "veteran leadership and post-season experience" which is what got me to stand up and clap. It was a mirage of sorts. Yes, EJax was a good teammate it appeared but he faded in September and failed miserably in the post-season. It was by most measures a complete FAIL."Well, EJax was never the #3 on a staff with STrasburg, Gio and Zimmermann. But yes, his acquisition was mostly failure. I agree. A low-risk one since it was a one year deal, but I expected better and the team expected better.Where we disagree is that you think Lannan would have been better. I don't really see any evidence of that either based on his 2012 numbers, his 2013 numbers or his career numbers.

  53. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  54. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    Bowdenball, if you follow my 1000's of rants over the years you should know I believe in trending analysis and age progression/regression and defensive +/- to the style of each pitcher.Lannan was trending better due to age/experience and the better defense but mostly that he came into camp in great shape.JZim I had projected similar for and that he would pick up as a flyball pitcher additional productivity from improved outfield defense.EJax and Haren both would've been low risk acquisitions if they were removed quicker and replaced. Easier said then done as we know.

  55. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  56. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 9, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    With Lannan instead of EJax last season, maybe they win 100 games instead of 98, but you can't finish higher than first, and there's no reason to assume the playoffs would have gone any differently. So that's basically a moot point. With Lannan instead of Haren, maybe John gets hurt anyway, maybe not, there's no telling. If he gets only the eight starts he's had with Philly, then you have to replace the other six starts Haren's made with … Zack Duke? Jordan Taylor? Can't assume those as wins. Even if you give Lannan, arguendo, the 14 starts Haren has had, and figure he goes 6-8 or even 7-7, yes, we'd all like to have those two or three wins they'd have, but when they signed Haren, the odds were good that Haren = Lannan was the worst-probable-case.

  57. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 9, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    My bad–Haren's made 16 starts; 4-10 with 2 ND (team lost both).

  58. bowdenball - Jul 9, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said…"Bowdenball, if you follow my 1000's of rants over the years you should know I believe in trending analysis and age progression/regression and defensive +/- to the style of each pitcher.Lannan was trending better due to age/experience and the better defense but mostly that he came into camp in great shape."And then he proceeded to pitch terribly in AAA. If you'rce counting spring training, I don't see how you disregard regular season AAA numbers. The latter has far more predictive value than the former.

  59. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 9, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Then again, the GM equivalent of "…but watch out for in-your-ear." is Brian Lawrence.

  60. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 9, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    "Lannan … came into camp in great shape."In The Best Shape of His Life, in fact.

  61. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    How can you count AAA for him or for that matter, why would you? John is a pitch to contact guy. Who cares what he did in AAA with a lousy defense behind him. That is a ridiculous comment especially coming from someone as knowledgeable as you. Even Rizzo knew those numbers meant nothing or he would have taken Peric's advice and used the great Zach Duke who Peric said was the Ace of AAA last year (LMAO). Should we use Bryce's AA numbers or Rendon's AAA numbers where hitters numbers are usually inflated in the Minors?

  62. natsfan1a - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    Gulp, bang!In The Best Shape of His Life, in fact.

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