Tag Archives: John Lannan

Postgame: Mets 6-Nationals 3 [BEAST-OFF]

Much better game for the Mets tonight, as John Maine pitched very well from the start (6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO, 1 HR). Ryan Church picked up his 30th RBI and 8th HR of the season. Brian Schneider and Jose Reyes also drove in runs.

For the Nationals, Ryan Zimmerman homered off of Maine in the third for his sixth of the season. Rob Mackowiak also drove in a run. John Lannan wasn’t great tonight, going 6 innings with 4 earned runs off of 12 hits, with a walk, two strikeouts, and a home run. Luis Ayala continued to struggle, surrendering an earned run in the eighth on two hits and a walk.

Matt Wise allowed a run in the 7th, but was still credited with a hold, as was Duaner Sanchez, who apparently still has the confidence of Willie Randolph. Billy Wagner notched his eighth save of the year.

Maine continues to be the Maine man, as the rest of the Mets pitching staff remains a wild card. Other than Johan Santana, there’s no one I’d rather see on the mound for the Amazin’s. Should be interesting tomorrow as Claudio Vargas goes against Tim Redding.

-Jonathan Kraft

Pregame: Nationals at Mets [BEAST-OFF]

The Game: Washington Nationals (16-23) at New York Mets (19-17)

The Matchup: John Lannan (3-3, 3.40) vs. John Maine (4-2, 3.00)

The Story: The Mets look to rebound after a less than stellar effort last night that saw the two primary scapegoats, Nelson Figueroa and Jorge Sosa, get designated for assignment this morning. Tonight, the Mets take the field behind their second-best starter, John Maine, who was two outs from pitching a complete game shutout last week in Los Angeles. The Mets scored 12 runs in that game, and run support is much in demand for New York.

The Nationals’ biggest surprise of the season, John Lannan, takes the mound just miles from his Long Beach, New York home. Lannan has found great success this year, save one start when he surrendered 5 earned runs in 3 innings on May 2 at Houston. The southpaw Lannan relies mostly on his breaking ball, and has been very effective, posting a K/BB ratio of 1.89.

The Lineups:

Nationals: [Not yet posted]

Mets: Reyes (SS), Church (RF), Wright (3B), Beltran (CF), Alou (LF), Delgado (1B), Easley (2B), Schneider (C), Maine (P)

How ’bout those standings

It’s May 12, and the Florida Marlins are in first place.

That’s right, for the second week in a row, the team that just unloaded its sensational third baseman and its pitching ace is atop a division that includes the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets.

A fluke? Not at all.

This is just one of the surprising storylines that has made this start to the 2008 season one of the more interesting that I can remember. Here are the storylines, one per team, that are making baseball fans scratch their heads right now:

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Nationals Beast (and least) of the Week

Tough choice here, but 1B Nick Johnson barely beats Ryan Zimmerman for the Beast of the Week honors. Nick hit .333 for the week, with a home run and 4 RBIs. He walked 8 times, striking out only 3, for a phenomenal OBP of .565. Nick’s bat will be crucial in the Nats lineup, as the failure to drive home Felipe Lopez and Cristian Guzman has been a significant problem thus far.

Runners-Up: Ryan Zimmerman, John Lannan

The least of the week for the Nationals is LHP Mike O’Connor. Having been moved into the rotation to take the place of ineffective starter Matt Chico, O’Connor needed to establish consistency at the back end of the starting five. He failed, going just 3.1, giving up 9 runs, all earned, on 6 hits, walking 6 and striking out just one. His WHIP increases to 2.44 on the season. His ERA climbs to 13.00. Ouch.

Runners-Up: Lastings Milledge, Felipe Lopez, Luis Ayala

Time for the Mets to shine (or else)

The Mets need to win 5 out of the next 7. The season might depend on it.

That sounds awfully premature in May, right? Here’s my reasoning. The next 7 games are at home against two teams that the Mets should dominate in the Reds and Nationals. Two very beatable teams, at home. After that, this season gets a lot harder: three in the Bronx, four in Atlanta, three in Colorado, then home for three against the [first place] Marlins and three against the Dodgers to close out the month. That’s not an easy stretch.

In the Reds, the Mets take on a team that’s batting .250. The Nationals? .242. The Mets, by the way, are also batting a collective .250, for what it’s worth. Except for Johnny Cueto, who will oppose Oliver Perez on Sunday, the opposing pitchers are not very good (Matt Belisle, Bronson Arroyo, Odalis Perez, John Lannan, Tim Redding, Michael O’Connor.)

If the Mets take 5 of 7, they go into the Bronx with momentum, and probably in first or second place. The booing at Shea will soften, the calls for Willie to be fired will subside. The Mets will reestablish themselves as a top team in the league, after a less than stellar start to the year.

If the Mets don’t dominate these two teams, they limp across the river to play another underachieving club from New York. Shea will not be a pleasant place, and the Fire Willie movement will reach a new high. We’ll understand that this team is underachieving, and this year will start to look a whole lot more ominous.

It’s time for the Mets to step up and prove that they belong in the conversation of the elite teams in the National League. Sure, it’s only May, but this is a turning point.

-Jonathan Kraft

The Rest of the East [Postgame Wrapup]

Pirates 11-Nationals 4: The lights went out on the Nats tonight–both literally and figuratively. This one started ugly for John Lannan, and ended ugly for the Nationals overworked bullpen. Lannan lasted only 3 innings, giving up 6 runs, 5 earned, on 6 hits, walking 2 and striking out none. For the record, NL Beast called the meltdown. Manny Acta decided to employ the starter by committee approach, as Mike O’Connor pitched 3.2 in relief for Lannan. For the Pirates, Jose Bautista homered twice on the night.

Braves 2-Reds 0: Nice pitchers dual in Atlanta tonight, as Tim Hudson squared off against young Edison Volquez. Any question of Tim Hudson’s health was resolved tonight as the sinkerballer pitched a complete game, striking out 10 and walking no one. Wow. Brian McCann‘s 2 run blast was all the offense the Braves needed to defeat the Reds.

Marlins 6-Padres 4: Dan Uggla homered twice, notching 4 RBIs on the night as the Marlins defeated San Diego. Mark Hendrickson got the win, going 7 innings, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits. Justin Germano got knocked around by the Fish, letting up 6 runs, 5 earned, including 3 home runs, in 5.2 innings of work.

Nationals Pregame: 5/2 vs. PIT

The Game: Pittsburgh Pirates (11-17) at Washington Nationals (12-17)

The Matchup: Phil Dumatrait (0-1, 3.92) vs. John Lannan (2-2, 2.64)

The Story: The streaking Nationals have won four in a row, and look to make it five tonight on the back of their most successful pitcher thus far, John Lannan. Lannan hopes to follow up a great outing last Sunday against the Cubs. He is 2-0 with a 0.45 ERA in his last three starts. In other words, Lannan has been pitching out of his mind. Can he continue his hot start? NL Beast has waited for Lannan to crack all season, but it hasn’t happened yet.

The Nationals offense hasn’t exactly been consistent this season, but it has continued to get the job done from unsuspecting contributors. Wil Nieves, example numero uno, starts behind the plate tonight, as he has become Lannan’s personal catcher. Paul Lo Duca returns to the team after being recalled from Class A Potomac after completing a rehab stint. Ryan Zimmerman continues to suffer from a lack of production…we’ll be watching to see if he can break out of his cold streak.

Phil Dumatrait makes his first start of the season, taking over the rotation spot that used to belong to recently released starter Matt Morris. He wasn’t exactly, err, successful last year as a starter, going 0-4 with a 15.00 ERA with the Reds. He never pitched more than five innings.

It’s a beautiful night for baseball in Washington, enjoy the game.

Lineups

Pirates: McLouth (CF), Sanchez (2B), Bay (LF), Doumit (C), Nady (RF), Mienkiewicz (1B), Bautista (3B), Gomez (SS), Doumit (P)

Nationals: Lopez (2B), Guzman (SS), Zimmerman (3B), Johnson (1B), Milledge (CF), Kearns (RF), Peña (LF), Nieves (C), Lannan (P)