The only thing that John Lannan seems to do effectively is hit players on the Phillies in the arm/hand. I proclaimed in last games recap that John Lannan would not make it out of the stadium if he hit anyone with a pitch. This is yet another in a long line of strangely consistent wrong prognostications from yours truly.
Wasting no time with “control,” or “being able to pitch,” John Lannan plunked Shane Victorino in the bottom of the first inning. I took this as an opportunity to shout and make threats to a person that, unless he has superpowers, can not hear me through the television. My ridiculous gesticulations and raised voice were utilized to no avail.
Lannan may have been able to make it to the team bus, but he certainly did not make it out of the third inning of the baseball game. In lieu of physical violence, the Phillies offense brutally crushed the offerings from Lannan’s left hand. His final line was two innings pitched while allowing seven hits and six runs as he fell to 0-10 versus the Phillies. 0-10? That is not very good John Lannan, not very good at all. No wonder you throw the ball at batters for the Phillies.
On the other side of the failure spectrum is Roy Halladay. Lannan is 0-10 against the Phils and Halladay just improved to 10-1 versus the Nationals. There must be a math-like theorem that can reduce this to an easily understandable equation. Halladay+Nationals+Lannan=Certain victory for Phillies. God I am bad at math. Halladay went seven innings, gave up six hits, two runs, no walks and struck out ten. He allowed both runs directly after the Phillies hung a six spot on Lannan in the third. Doc looked a touch rusty after sitting in the dugout as the Philles sent hitter after hitter up to embarrass Lannan, but he settled down thereafter and marched robotically through seven innings without smiling.
The offense did most of their damage in the third inning of the ballgame scoring six runs and sending ten batters to the plate. The inning went as follows: Rollins-single, Victorino-homer, Polanco-single, Howard-walk, Mayberry-double, Ibanez-double, Valdez-not a double play. This all happened before the Nationals could record an out.
Hey everyone! Raul looks like he can hit again! Questions of bat speed have been answered as Ibanez caught up to a 93 MPH fastball from Todd Coffey on a 430 foot home run and caught up to a 98 MPH heater from Henry Rodriguez for a single. Ibanez ended the day 3-4 with three RBI and three runs scored. Apparently all it took was John Lannan and Jason Marquis to transform Raul from aged former major league caliber hitter to aged major league caliber hitter on a hot streak. He has five extra base hits including two homers in the past three games. His presence as a non-automatic out is important to the Phils not being mired in the kind of slump they experienced on their west coast swing. If only the Phils could play the Nats every game.
The bullpen gave the Nationals one run in the form of a sacrifice fly from our old bearded friend Jason Werth in the eighth inning. Antonio Bastardo hung a few pitches in the inning, but managed to mitigate any damage done by striking out former Brave Adam LaRoche. Ryan Madson looked great in the ninth preserving a 7-3 lead. It is scary when closers are asked to pitch in a non-save situation. Boras seems to have warped Ryan’s mind to the point that the right hander thinks everything is a save situation.
Next up for the Phillies the Braves come to town fresh off of a four game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers. Derek Lowe takes the mound for Atlanta. Cliff Lee goes for his third win of the year for the Phils.