Friday’s Nationals-Diamondbacks discussion space

Welcome to MASN’s discussion space for tonight’s Nationals-Diamondbacks game at Nationals Park. I’ll post updates, analysis and reaction here throughout the game, and if you want to chime in, leave your comments below this blog post. I’ll respond to you there.

7:09: Impressive first inning for John Lannan. He retires the Diamondbacks in just 11 pitches, freezing Kelly Johnson with a fastball and getting Justin Upton to swing and miss on a changeup for a strikeout to end the inning.

7:16: The Nationals have carried the momentum from Lannan’s first inning over into their first at-bats of the night, getting three hits off Joe Saunders, who threw a complete game against them last week. Ryan Zimmerman just drove in Alberto Gonzalez and Ian Desmond with a single to left, and it’s 2-0 Nationals with one out in the first.

7:20: It’s 3-0 Nationals now; Michael Morse singled to left, and Gerardo Parra made another wild throw home. He had no shot to get Zimmerman, and Morse moved to second.

7:37: Get the new commercial ready: Wil Nieves hit his second homer of the year. His solo shot in the second put the Nationals up 4-0, and Alberto Gonzalez and Ian Desmond have followed with their second hits of the game. The Nats have runners on second and third with one out in the second, and Joe Saunders has already thrown 40 pitches. This one could turn into a romp quickly.

8:22: The Diamondbacks are rallying here in the fifth inning. They’ve scored a pair of runs off Lannan on two hits and a walk, with Mark Reynolds sliding into home for their first run on Stephen Drew’s double. But TV replays showed Nieves tagged Reynolds’ foot before he touched home plate. Nonetheless, it’s 4-2 Nationals in the fifth.

9:14: John Lannan is done after a seven-inning outing that might be his best of the year. He allowed two runs in seven innings, striking out five with a full array of pitches that he mixed well all night. This is the closest to his 2008-09 form that Lannan has looked all year, and better yet for the Nationals, he’s gone from solid to very good in his three outings since coming back from Double-A Harrisburg. It’s still 4-2 Nationals in the eighth.