In return for helping cover the cost of Nats Insider (and former Washington Times' writer) Mark Zuckerman's coverage of the Washington Nationals' twenty-ten Spring Training, readers were promised a chance to ask a question of either Nats' Skipper Jim Riggleman or one of several players who agreed to participate in a series of interviews Mr. Zuckerman's been publishing this week. With his last Spring start coming this afternoon and then five days before the season starts next Monday when the Philadelphia Phillies and their fans invade the nation's capital to watch newly-acquired ace Roy Halladay take on the rock of the Nationals' rotation, the Nats' twenty-five year-old third-year starter John Lannan, (the second player to answer Mr. Zuckerman's questions following Ryan Zimmerman), was willing participate in Mr. Zuckerman's interviews by answering a few questions from fans. Here at Federal Baseball.com, we came up with a question which was generated by our readers (or one in particular really) who wanted to know how it was that Mr. Lannan is able to get so many batters out in spite of his relatively low strikeout total. Here's how the question was phrased:
Q: "There's a bit of a debate in the stats community about how you are able to succeed without getting many strikeouts. Last year, you had the fewest strikeouts-per-nine innings of all pitchers with an ERA under 4.00. How do you get so many outs on balls put into play?"
Lannan's 89 '09 K's were actually 11 fewer than the next lowest total, collected by fellow lefty Jarrod Washburn, who struck out 100 in 176.0 IP over which he posted a 3.78 ERA to Lannan's 3.88 mark, and 180 K's less than the highest K total, amassed by Tigers' right-hander Justin Verlander, who recorded 269 K's while posting a 3.45 ERA. So how is John Lannan able to succeed in keeping his ERA low without striking batters out? For Mr. Lannan's response, and to read the entire interview: CLICK HERE.