Wire Taps: John Lannan Helps Washington Nationals Sweep New York Mets Before Big Series In Atlanta.

Sep 12, 2012; Flushing, NY,USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher John Lannan (31) pitches during the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

After limiting the New York Mets to five hits and a walk in 5.2 scoreless innings on the mound, John Lannan was replaced by Christian Garcia, the right-hander who is trying his best to pitch his way into the Washington Nationals' post season plans. Garcia recorded the final out of the sixth, then Ryan Mattheus, Sean Burnett and Drew Storen combined to shut the Mets out and give Lannan his third win in three 2012 starts. Lannan earned his first win of the year at the major league level on July 21st in a spot start in a doubleheader with the Braves. He went back to Triple-A the next day. He came back up on August 3rd to make start no.2 as part of another twin-bill then returned to Syracuse. Lannan earned his third win of the year in an 81-pitch outing last night in NY. In three starts and 18.2 IP, the '05 11th Round pick has a 2.41 ERA, a 3.74 FIP, eight walks (3.86 BB/9) and nine Ks (4.34 K/9). The most important thing for the left-hander in what has to have been a rough season, was to just focus on going back out and giving his best no matter where he was pitching. "I'm just looking forward to the fifth day now," Lannan said, "[It] didn't matter where I was going after those doubleheaders. I was pitching five days later. Now it's just preparing for another start up here. That's the only way I'm looking at it."

Nats' skipper Davey Johnson was impressed with the outing from the 27-year-old left-hander. The Nationals' manager pulled Lannan relatively early because he had a long break between his final start in Syracuse and last night's outing. "Lannan was good," Johnson said, "Lannan was very focused in front of his home crowd. I thought he pitched a great ballgame. It's a pretty good replacement for [Strasburg]." He's also a veteran pitcher who can handle the pressure of the situation. "He was a big winner last year for us," the Nats' manager told reporters. "Johnny's a great teammate. He's a great guy. A competitor. I liked the way he was throwing tonight, but I liked the way he threw last year. He threw great in the two starts he had before. He fits in real nice." Five days from now Lannan will try to help his team out again.

No game tonight of course. Day off at this time of the year feels odd. Tomorrow night in Atlanta. Til then, LINKS and LOTS OF THEM...starting RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "This was supposed to be [Stephen] Strasburg’s finale, Wednesday at Citi Field against the New York Mets, his 29th and last start of the Nationals’ turnaround season." - "Stephen Strasburg shutdown begins as Nationals pitcher sits and watches" - Barry Svrluga, The Washington Post

• NATSBEAT:

Twitter: AdamRubinESPN: "Crazy stat: The #Braves and #Nats each have more wins at Citi Field in the second half (five apiece) than the #Mets (four)." -

• "The Nationals didn't miss a beat with [John] Lannan on the mound, as they blanked the Mets, 2-0, and swept the three-game series." - "Washington Nationals at New York Mets - September 12, 2012" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "Speaking of which, has anyone figured out why the Nationals kept Strasburg on an innings limit and not a pitch limit?" - "History shows that the Washington Nationals shut down Stephen Strasburg too soon" - Rany Jazayerli, Grantland

• "[Ryan] Zimmerman put the Nationals ahead in the fourth with a drive into the left-field seats, extending his hitting streak to 16 games." - "In Strasburg's slot, Lannan leads Nats over Mets" Ronald Bloom, AP/WTOP.com

• "With last night's win over the Mets and another Atlanta loss, the Nationals' lead in the NL East is up to a season-high 8 1/2 games..." - "Nationals Pastime: He's not Strasburg, but he doesn't have to be" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Stephen] Strasburg was missing the first of however many more starts he would have made this season, a decision you might have heard about." - "SNYDER: No Strasburg for Nats, no stress for Lannan" - Deron Snyder, Washington Times

• "[Stephen] Strasburg’s spot in the rotation came up for the first time since the Nationals shut him down for the season, and [John] Lannan made the moment sting a little less." - "Nationals vs. Mets: John Lannan replaces Stephen Strasburg and gets the victory" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "[John] Lannan didn’t do anything that he hasn’t done before. He didn’t pile up the strikeouts, he had two." - "Lannan does his thing in Nationals' 2-0 win over Mets" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Truth be told, [John] Lannan isn't like any other member of the Nationals' rotation." - "Lannan leads Nats to sweep in New York" - Mark Zuckerman, CSNWashington.com

• "If the Nationals want their first playoff run to be one worth remembering, they’ll need their de facto ace to look a lot more like the [Jordan] Zimmermann of July..." - "Washington Nationals need pitcher Jordan Zimmermann to be relaxed and sharp in the pennant race" - Sam Gardner, FOX Sports on MSN

• "Although the Nationals knew they were acquiring a quality pitcher, it's likely that even they didn't realize exactly what they had on their hands." - "Gio Gonzalez deal turns fortunes of both Nationals, A's" - Matthew Leach, nationals.com: News

• "'His left hand is his dominant hand when he's hitting,' [Davey] Johnson said. 'It's been bothering him about a month and he's been trying to play through it.'" - "Morse will miss a few days to rest left wrist" - Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

• "Surgery is not an option, Morse said, and neither is any kind of numbing shot. Morse is taking anti-inflammatory medication, and today he wore a small, removable cast on his left hand." - "Michael Morse diagnosed with bone bruise in left wrist" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "The plan right now is for Morse to rest a few days and attempt to take batting practice on Friday in Atlanta." - "MRI on Michael Morse's left wrist shows bone bruise, torn sheath" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Michael] Morse said the diagnosis actually gave him peace of mind, relieving any worries he had a break or more significant tear that would keep him out longer." - "Morse has torn sheath, bone bruise in wrist" - Mark Zuckerman, CSNWashington.com

• "With a mutual option year on the table at a reported $10 million, it seems unlikely [Adam] LaRoche and his agent will choose that route..." - "Nationals' LaRoche not dealing with it right now" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "Pretty amazing to think Tyler Moore had played first base his entire career and had two games in left field at Triple-A Syracuse before being promoted to the Nationals." - "Teaching Nationals' Tyler Moore left field last season paying huge dividends now" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "After playing only catch and throwing one bullpen session since Sept. 2, Johnson showed a lot of confidence in Burnett by bringing him in for a save situation..." - "Sean Burnett returns just in time for the Nationals" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Tuesday night, [Christian] Garcia used the New York Mets as his latest canvas to show that it wasn’t talent denying him a major league career, only injury." - "Nationals' Christian Garcia proving that talent was never a question" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Davey Johnson came out to get Lannan with two on and two out in the sixth, ending the left-hander's night." - "Nationals Pastime: A quiet start for Lannan, and that's a good thing (Nats sweep Mets)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "As the Nationals swept the free-falling Mets this week at Citi Field, they had one eye on the scores coming out of Milwaukee..." - "Nationals' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 13, 2012" - Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

• "Facing added pressure and scrutiny since he was officially taking over [Stephen] Strasburg's start, [John] Lannan remained calm, cool and collected as always." - "Instant analysis: Nats 2, Mets 0" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Stephen] Strasburg made his final start of the season five days ago, but already he has become antsy with no more starts to look forward to." - "Stephen Strasburg, pinch hitter?" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "In the days since the Washington Nationals informed Stephen Strasburg that his season on the mound was over, he's tried to figure out just what he can do..." - "Stephen Strasburg: pinch hitter?" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Nats swept the Mets in three games this week, putting their magic number for clinching the division at 11 with 19 games to go." - "Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves - September 14, 2012" - Mike Fiammetta, MLB.com Preview

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Compassion and peace of mind bring a sense of confidence that reduce stress and anxiety."

• NATSTOWN:

• "The way he runs the bases is hilarious, it’s like he’s still playing tee ball — run around til someone tags you out." - Mark DeRosa on Bryce Harper - "Mark DeRosa on Bryce Harper’s ‘hilarious’ base-running" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth has been immortalized in minature form, but with less of a beard on his tiny plastic doppelganger." - "Nationals players debut in miniature form" - AP/WTOP.com

• "Instructional League Roster Notes – Position Players" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• "September 13, 1924 - Walter Johnson decisions Detroit’s Earl Whitehill, 6-4, in the Motor City." - "This Date in Washington Senators History – Jimmy Piersall is arrested for disorderly conduct" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "Lannan's line: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 11-3 groundouts-flyouts." - "Who needs Strasburg?" - Nats Enquirer

• "Last night American hero and Long Island native John Lannan won his third consecutive start to open his MLB season (a team record)..." - "Lannanmas! John Lannan wins third consecutive start, Nats sweep Mets" - William F. Yurasko, William World News

• "Nats Talk On The Go: Episode 35" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "Matt Harvey is among the few things that have gone right for the Mets in the season’s second half." - "Mets wild about Harvey, despite another loss" - Mike Puma, NYPOST.com

Marlins: "The Marlins concluded their second-to-last road trip with a 2-4 record and fell to 18 games under .500 (63-81) for the first time this season." - "Miami Marlins swept in Philadelphia, head home after 2-4 trip" - Juan C. Rodriguez, South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

Braves: "Lot of Braves fans here in Milwaukee, lot of old time Braves fans, used to be Milwaukee Braves people. So it’s a nice play to come back to." - Chipper Jones on Milwaukee - "Braves postgame quotes after Wednesday’s loss" - David O'Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Phillies: "After finishing their sweep of the Marlins, the Phillies were three games behind for the second National League wild-card spot." - "Phillies within three games of second wild-card spot after sweeping Marlins" - David Murphy, Philadelphia Inquirer

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