|Photo by USA Today
After making his return to Nationals Park on Friday night, John Lannan didn’t have much to say about the experience, he wasn’t nostalgic about returning to the mound in D.C. or being in the opposing locker room for the first time in his career.
But if Lannan wasn’t in the mood to talk about those things after his team’s 9-2 loss to the Nationals, that can be understood. The 28-year-old, in fact, put out one of the worst starts of his entire career, allowing a career-high eight earned runs including two homers in the second inning alone. That’s the first time he’s allowed multiple home runs since Aug. 31, 2011 when he was in a Nats’ uniform.
“It just wasn’t a great day,” he said afterwards.
Lannan lasted five innings, surrendering nine hits and five walks. Usually a groundball pitcher who keeps the ball down, Lannan’s fastball kept soaring up in the zone and the Nats took advantage.
Even Adam LaRoche, who entered Friday 0 for 15 against Lannan, got in on the fun. The Nats’ first baseman extended the streak to 16 in the first inning, striking out with the bases loaded and two outs. But he later notched two hits against the deceptive lefty, including an RBI double in the third.
LaRoche’s second hit was just a two-out single in the fifth, but Lannan saw it as the biggest mistake of the night. LaRoche extended the inning and Lannan promptly unraveled, allowing a total of four runs in the frame, including one on a bases loaded walk to pitcher Dan Haren.
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