John Lannan needed just 96 pitches (and 5 double plays) to get through nine innings for his first complete game in the majors in a 7-1 win over New York tonight in front of 31,456 in DC's Nationals Park. Lannan gets four double plays in the first four innings to erase two leadoff walks, a one-out walk and a leadoff single, (not in that order) and he holds the Mets to just 4 hits, retiring NY in order in the 5th, 6th and 7th, before back-to-back singles and an error by Elijah Dukes allow the one unearned run the Mets scored to cross. 7-1 DC. Lannan thrills the DC Faithful when he picks up a bat and hits with two down in the eighth, and only a two-out Mets' single in the ninth gets in the way of his first complete game, as the Nationals win their 15th of '09!!! A perfect night...If only Lannan hadn't gotten thrown out on a play at the plate in the sixth!! J/K. The only thing Lannan didn't have tonight was speed! Nationals win, Lannan now (W, 3-5, 3.68 ERA). Cool Hand Stops The Losing!!
HEADLINES...(Coverage Continues After The Jump...)
• SHAKE N BAKE!!! SHAKE N BAKE!!!
• Two-Spot Cleans Up!!!
• Elijah Dukes, The Missed Fly, And The Oddest Double Play I've Ever Seen...
• Who Needs The New Closer...
• E: 53.
Nationals win, 7-1 final.
Miss The Game, The DC Faithful Were Watching!!
So Were The Amazin' Avenue Fans, Check Out Their GameThread.
For The Completists, Complete Game Report After The Jump...
Nationals now 15-39.
SHAKE N BAKE!! SHAKE N BAKE!!!
Nick Johnson hits a one-out double in the bottom of the first, and Ryan Zimmerman follows with an RBI line drive to center to get the Nationals off to a rare 1-0 lead. First pitch fastball to Adam Dun--SHAKE N BAKE!!! SHAKE N BAKE!! Adam Dunn destroys it, off the facade of the second-deck in right! Dunn's 17th dinger gives the Nationals a 3-0 lead in the first and provides John Lannan with all the support he would need for the win. Dunn hits his first HR and collects his first RBI since the last time he faced New York on May 27, and hit one off Johan Santana, over the Citi Field fence, and onto the Bridge in the outfield!! Dunn hits HR's in three straight games against NY, and he's now hitting .258 with 17 HR's and 44 RBI's in 55 games, .391 OBP, .557 SLG, .947 OPS.
Two-Spot Cleans Up...
Nick "Two-Spot" Johnson ends the night 3 for 4 with 2 doubles, a HR, 2 runs scored, 3 RBI's and a .332 AVG, .434 OBP, .469 SLG, .903 OPS. Johnson hits his 5th HR of the season off Maine in the fifth, and collects his 30th RBI on the 3-run blast. "Two-Spot" hits a one-out double in the first, and a two-out double in the sixth that would have driven in his 31st RBI if anyone other than John Lannan was trying to score from first.
• Elijah Dukes, The Missed Fly, And The Oddest Double Play I've Ever Seen...
I'll just let you read it from the Game Report:
Lannan gives up a leadoff walk to Luis Castillo. Emil Brown hits a long fly ball to right, and Elijah Dukes reaches back after he overruns it, just missing it or did he?...the ball hit the ground according to the Ump...and the Mets base runners get mixed up and doubled up...Castillo crosses back toward first, thinking Dukes caught it, as Brown heads to second...Brown out for passing the runner, then Castillo breaks from first as Dukes fires in from his back, Nick Johnson picks it up and shuffles to Guzman at second to get Castillo. PHEW!! (Go ahead and read that again, I'll wait...)
Here's how they scored it...
OFFICIAL SCORING: Brown out, 3 unassisted, 9-3-6 on Castillo...Double play, Dukes to Johnson to Guzman? (ed. note - "You really have to give it to Dukes here, sure he overran the fly, but he did actually catch it upon further review, and when they didn't call it a catch, he threw in from his back and allowed Nick Johnson to toss to second to double up Castillo...That's right Dukes threw the ball from the track to the infield from his BACK!! SSSSSSUPER DUKESSSS!!!
Who Needs The New Closer?
Washington Post writer Chico Harlan reported, in a pregame Nationals Journal post entitled, "More On Hanrahan, MacDougal (And Other Notes)", that the Washington Nationals had decided to remove "Wild" Joel Hanrahan, "...their on-again, off-again closer from the ninth-inning role -- perhaps this time for good." Mike MacDougal, whose three-pitch strikeout of Gary Sheffield impressed everyone who saw it, will take over for Hanrahan for as long as he can hold onto the job. Tonight, however, neither one of the two relievers were needed as John Lannan went the distance, throwing 96 pitches, 61 for strikes and as MASN Announcer Rob Dibble** pointed out in his post game Twitter message, Lannan threw "21 1st pitch strikes" to the 30 batters he faced in the complete game win. It'll be interesting to see what MacDougal, who had 48 saves in his two best seasons with the Royals in '03 and '05 does with the closer's role, which has made it's way around to just about everyone in the bullpen but Pitching Coach Randy Knorr.
(ed. note - " ** What? You Don't Get Rob Dibble's Tweets? Why the heck not???")
E: 53, E. Dukes...
Yes, Elijah Dukes finished the night 3 for 4, and he did hit his 5th HR and collect his 26th RBI in the process, but Elijah Dukes also overran the fly ball that led to the ridiculous DP, and he also dropped a line drive in right that allowed the Mets' only run to cross in the eighth. Omir Santos drilled a 2-0 fastball to right with David Wright on third and Elijah Dukes was thinking about the throw home before he secured the liner, which bounced off his glove and fell to the grass as he frantically searched for the ball, which should have been in his glove. The error is Dukes' 2nd of the season, and the Nationals' 53rd, tonight it didn't make a difference.
FULL GAME REPORT:
DC lefty John Lannan gets a called strike on a 3-1 pitch, but the full-count offering is outside, leadoff walk to Luis Castillo. Cristian Guzman gets a ground ball from Emil Brown and throws to Anderson Hernandez, to Nick Johnson at first, double play. Carlos Beltran K’s on a curve that bounces in the dirt, and Wil Nieves has to throw him out to end the top of the first...Cristian Guzman rips the first pitch from John Maine right into Fernando Tatis’ glove. Nick Johnson lines a double off the base of the wall in right center. Ryan Zimmerman lines a single over short to score Johnson for a 1-0 DC lead. Adam Dunn gets a first pitch fastball out over the plate and he deposits it up in the second deck in right for his 17th HR of the season. 3-0 DC in a hurry. Elijah Dukes fights off a fastball inside and gets around in time to line it to left. Willie Harris flies out to Beltran in center. Anderson Hernandez grounds out to Wilson Valdez at short to end the first.
Gary Sheffield grounds out to Zimmerman at third to start the second. John Lannan walks David Wright on four straight pitches to bring up Fernando Tatis with a runner at first. Tatis grounds to second, Hernandez to Guzman to Johnson, double play...Wil Nieves reaches out and rolls a groundout to second. Wilson Valdez throws Lannan out from behind second. Cristian Guzman flies out to center, 3-0 DC after two.
Omir Santos hits a leadoff line drive to right, Elijah Dukes fires back in to hold the runner at first. Wilson Valdez grounds to into the third double play in three innings to help Lannan out. Nick Johnson provides further support, diving toward second to snag a grounder from Maine, Johnson tosses to Lannan covering...Nick Johnson gets called out looking at a two-strike change outside and sinking. Wilson Valdez loads up and fires to first to get Zimmerman. Adam Dunn grounds into the dramatic shift to end the third.
Leadoff walk to Luis Castillo. Emil Brown hits a long fly ball to right, and Elijah Dukes reaches back after he overruns it, just missing it or did he...the ball hit the ground according to the Ump...and the Mets base runners get mixed up and doubled up...Castillo crosses back toward first as Brown heads to second, Brown out for passing the runner, then Castillo breaks from first as Dukes fires in from his back, Nick Johnson picks it up and shuffles to second to get Castillo. PHEW!! (Go ahead and read that again, I'll wait...).Ryan Zimmerman stabs a sharp grounder from Beltran, spins and fires to first in time to get the runner...DUKES gets a hanging slider from Maine and launches it to left and GONE!! HR!! 4-0 DC. Luis Castillo robs Willie Harris of a single, taking a knee and spinning on it after fielding to fire to first. Anderson Hernandez flies out to Sheffield in left. David Wright fields a routine grounder and throws out Nieves.
Gary Sheffield pops up the catcher for the first out of the fifth. Elijah Dukes backs up a few steps to catch David Wright’s fly ball out. Fernando Tatis hits a weak blooper to first, Nick Johnson has it...John Lannan walks to start the Nationals’ fifth. Cristian Guzman walks for the fourth time this season. Nick Johnson goes deeep to left and GONE!! 3-run blast for "Two-Spot" Johnson!!! 7-0 Nationals. Ken Takahashi replaces Maine on the mound. Ryan Zimmerman walks. Dunn K’s swinging through a fastball. Elijah Dukes grounds out to Wilson Valdez at short.
Omir Santos vs Lannan to start the sixth. Ryan Zimmerman throws Santos out on a weak grounder. Wilson Valdez grounds out to Anderson Hernandez. Ken Takahashi stays into bat, and swings through a fastball, for Lannan’s sixth scoreless frame...Wil Nieves grounds out to short for the first out of the Nationals’ sixth. John Lannan slices a single just over Wright’s outstretched glove. Cristian Guzman flies out to Beltran in front of the track in center. Nick Johnson doubles off the wall in left, Lannan runs reeeaally sloooooowly around third and gets nailed at the plate.
Luis Castillo grounds out to short to start the seventh. Emil Brown grounds out to second. Willie Harris roams back to catch Carlos Beltran’s fly ball out...Fernando Nieve takes over on the mound for the Mets. Ryan Zimmerman K’s swinging through a 95 mph fastball inside. Dunn flies out to Beltran in short center. Elijah Dukes blasts a two-out single back up the middle. Willie Harris flies out to Beltran to end the seventh.
Gary Sheffield hits a fly ball to center for Willie Harris to handle. David Wright sneaks a sliced single through second with one down. Fernando Tatis hits the second-straight single off Lannan. Omir Santos lines to right, Dukes comes in and looks to thro...Dukes drops it...Wright scores, 7-1 DC. (ed. note - E: 53). Wilson Valdez grounds to short, Guzman to Hernandez to Johnson, double play #5!!! Lannan through eight...Anderson Hernandez grounds out to Castillo at second. Wil Nieves vs Nieve, Nieves flies out Beltran in right center. John Lannan picks up a bat!!! and promptly K’s swinging.
John Lannan’s back out for the ninth. Daniel Murphy grounds to Johnson, who tosses to Lannan covering. Luis Castillo grounds out to Anderson "Elvis" Hernandez at second. Emil Brown goes back up the middle for a two-out single. Carlos Beltran grounds to second, Anderson Hernandez throws him out!!! Nationals win. Theeeee NATIONALS WIN!!! 7-1 final. Sorry, getting ready for the other NY team!!!
Nationals now 15-39.