There were plenty of interesting little stories to come out of last night’s Nationals-Dodgers game, and while most of the focus was on Adam Dunn - and rightly so, after the slugger hit two homers, drove in all six runs and commanded the spotlight as his fate remains undecided - I’ll work on a few leftovers this morning:
--Drew Storen, in earning his first big-league save, still didn’t have manager Jim Riggleman completely impressed. Riggleman said on TV after the game that Storen’s fastball command is still an issue, citing Storen’s ninth-inning walk before praising the 22-year-old closer. That much is true; Storen’s hard sinker has plenty of movement, and he needs to rein it in a little bit. But since Matt Capps left, the rookie has been so composed and pitched so impressively in late-inning situations that it doesn’t seem long before he will be anointed the full-time closer.
--John Lannan, in allowing three runs (two earned) in six innings, both won and posted a quality start for the first time since May 28 against the Padres. He also instilled some confidence in the Nationals that he is close to being the pitcher they’ve counted on for the last two seasons. That’s important right now, as the Nationals get ready to add Stephen Strasburg and Jason Marquis back to their rotation, and presumably send two pitchers from the Lannan-Craig Stammen-Ross Detwiler group to the minors. Lannan has the longest track record of the three, though Stammen has thrown the ball well lately and Detwiler hasn’t gotten a chance to overcome the bad defense played behind him in each of his three starts. One possibility: Lannan stays in the rotation, Stammen goes to the bullpen, replacing Collin Balester as a long reliever, and Detwiler gets some more seasoning in the minors.
--Ian Desmond, hitting second in the Nationals’ lineup, went 2-for-3 with two runs and a walk. He’s hitting .340 in that spot this year. Why not try him there on a regular basis? He’s hit there three times in the eight games since the Nationals traded Cristian Guzman to the Rangers, and is 4-for-11 with four runs. Seems worth a shot.