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In discussing the decision to stand pat with what they have in terms of pitching at this past Tuesday's Non-Waiver Trade Deadline, D.C. GM Mike Rizzo told MASN's Bob Carpenter and F.P. Santangelo that in spite of all the talk about Washington needing a starter to supplement the rotation once Stephen Strasburg's shut down, the Nats had looked at the high-end arms that were available and determined they were too costly in terms of the prospects needed to acquire that sort of pitcher. As for the "secondary tier of pitchers" that were available, the Nats' general manager told the MASN broadcast team, "We feel that we have those guys in-house. John Lannan is a pitcher that won 10 games in the big leagues, threw 200 innings for two or three years in a row and has a sub-4.00 ERA for his career, so that's a real pitcher and we felt that we couldn't do any better in the trade market."
While the Nats' 27-year-old, '05 11th Round pick's numbers at Triple-A Syracuse this year haven't been all that impressive (6-10, 5.24 ERA, 5.03 FIP, 3.35 BB/9, 4.91 K/9), when he was called upon to help the Nationals out in game two of a doubleheader with Atlanta back on July 21st, the left-hander came through for the Nats, holding the Braves to two runs on five hits in 7.0 IP to earn his first major league win of 2012 and stop a three-game slide that had the Nationals' lead in the NL East down to 2.5 games.
After the start, the sixth-year pro told reporters that in spite of the circumstances, which saw him up for one game before being sent back down to Triple-A, it was an exciting experience, and something he hadn't done before. "I've never been on a first place team," Lannan said, "So that was kind of cool, and then I've never been in a game where it really meant something. Every game means something, but right now they're in a battle for the [NL] East and I just want to go out there and do my job."
Thanks to the rule in the new CBA that allows teams to add a 26th man when playing doubleheaders, Lannan will get another chance to do his job this afternoon in the first game of the traditional doubleheader with Miami. Here's the Nats' lineup for Game One:
— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) August 3, 2012
#Nationals 8/3 Game 1 Lineup: Espinosa SS, Lombo 2B, Zim 3B, Werth CF, LaRoche 1B, Moore LF, DeRosa RF, Flores C, Lannan LHP