John Lannan may be young, but he’s not stupid. The pitcher who has played above his projected ability, and above his experience level all season long showed today that he also is mature beyond his years. Knowing the responsibility was on his 23 year old shoulders to stop the 4 game winning streak of the Orioles and to avoid the sweep, he came off his worst performance of the year and delivered a gem. They say one of the key jobs of an ace is to be a stopper by ending a losing streak before it gets out of control, Lannan filled the role today.
Lannan tossed seven and a third beautiful innings this afternoon, letting up only 5 hits and one earned run. He did an excellent job of locating all of his pitches and forcing ground balls. Out of 24 outs recorded, Lannan produced 11 ground ball outs and 5 K’s while letting up only one walk. That Nats fans, is how you win a game while only scoring 2 runs.
On the other side of the hill, former first round pick for the O’s, Jeremy Guthrie, also had himself a great day, allowing only five hits and only one earned run through seven innings. However for a change the Nats were able to turn their quiet bats into runs as they showed good patience against a good pitching performance. Washington drew 6 walks in comparison to only two strikeouts which allowed them to put that extra run on the board over the O’s.
Wil Nieves + Jesus Flores > Paul Lo Duca + Johnny Estrada
The sample size is still small, but it’s getting larger and larger every game and it’s becoming more and more evident that Flores and Nieves are the best catchers on this team. Damn the contracts and the big names, Nieves and Flores are playing like they want to be on the Nationals, as opposed to having to play for the Nationals. Lo Duca and Estrada are both former all stars, but its clear their careers are coming to a close and this is the only place they were offered a Major League job. The baseball gods are telling us something with these injuries, let the kids play.
Jesus Flores Season Stats: .367 BA (11/30), .500 OBP, 1.133 OPS
Wil Nieves Season Stats: .310 BA (13/42), .385 OBP, .788 OPS
Lo Duca Season Stats: .200 BA (10/50), .298 OBP, .558 OPS
Johnny Estrada Stats: .179 BA (7/39), .220 OBP, .298 OPS
Nieves at catcher 7-8
Flores at catcher 3-8
Lo Duca at catcher 6-11
Estrada at catcher: 5-5, 4 broken clubhouse chairs
Nick “Stone Cold” Markakis did not have a great game from the plate, but he did show Nationals fans his franchise talent from the field today gunning out two runners from right field ( Elijah Dukes twice). It’s players like Markakis, who always bring something to the table, that make Nats fans really frustrated with the disappointment of Austin Kearns, who brings nothing.
Going 0-2 today with 2 walks, Aaron Boone stopped his mini hit streak, but did continue his on base streak to 7 games.
GUZMAN WATCH: Guzman has a good game today and actually aided in a Nats winning effort. Guzman went 2-3 with 2 RBI’s and a solo homer. He also had a sacrifice bunt! Trade value: rising.
Question: Do you think the marlins would trade Austin Kearns for 1$?