"I believe in John."
That pronouncement by manager Jim Riggleman after today's 6-3 loss to the White Sox should, temporarily anyway, put to rest any talk that Lannan would be shifted to the bullpen after his third consecutive short outing. Facing 22 hitters and allowing 11 hits isn't what we're used to seeing from the Long Beach lefty..
Make no mistake about it: John Lannan doesn't have overpowering stuff. He's never been a strikeout pitcher, and in his short career has relied on command in the bottom of the strike zone. Today, as he had in his past couple of starts, he threw strikes, but very hittable ones. It was too easy for the Chicago hitters to center on the ball and get it over the infield.
I don't think there's anything physically wrong with Lannan. He's too smart to hide any kind of nagging injury. His major league status is such that he doesn't have to worry about losing his job if he went on the DL for two weeks.
He'll get a start at Camden Yards over the weekend, and the ballclub hopes he can right the ship.
Speaking of Baltimore, it was interesting to note that before Friday's game - Stephen Strasburg's most recent start - there was a far louder "OOOOOOhhh" during the anthem than we've heard at Nats Park in a long time. Today's anthem produced nothing audible along those lines. Are Orioles fans trekking down the Parkway to check out young Stephen? Why not? He's a genuine boy wonder so far, and since they won't see him in next weekend's series in Baltimore, you can't blame them for wanting an up-close look at the young man.