Leave it to John Lannan to once again stop the bleeding for the Nats! The native New Yorker handcuffed the NY Mets in tossing a brilliant seven-hit 4-0 shutout, ending Washington's six-game slide, and giving interim skiper Jim Riggleman his first victory since taking over for Manny Acta.
Lannan also becomes the first Nationals starter to pitch a shutout at Nationals Park since it opened last year.
Don't let John's laid back, quiet demeanor fool you. Once he takes the hill, look out. He will battle and compete with the best of them.
Against the Mets he had to be at the top of his game. He got just four hits of support in tossing the ballclub's secpnd shutout of the season. Both coming against New Yorkers--the Yankees on June 18th in the Bronx and now the Mets here in DC.
As my partner Ray Knight said on Nats Xtra following the game, pitching and defense got it done tonight. Add to that a second consecutive game without an error!
When you talk defense, you've gotta start with Nyjer Morgan who at times appears to cover the entire outfield by himself. Two great catches by Nyjer helped preserve Lannan's shutout. I think when we watch this second half of the season roll on, the addition of Morgan and Sean Burnett, who also came over in the Pittsburgh deal, will be major components to the club's success.
And what a class move by Lannan to give Jim Riggleman the game ball after finally getting into the win column following five straight losses. Then again you'd expect that from John.
Congratulations are in order for Jim who grew up in Rockville and graduated from Richard Montgomery High School and is a member of the Frostburg State Hall of Fame. We all hope its just the first of a many victories.
So the losing streak is over. Sure it's just one game, but it sure as heck beats losing. There is a long way to go in the second half of the season. The ballclub still must prove it can win on a consistent basis, not just a game here and a game there. John Lannan got it started. Now lets see if his teammates can keep in going.