Nationals trail Braves early after Lannan gives up two runs

In his career, John Lannan has roughly the same numbers against lefties as he does against righties - which is to say he doesn’t gain any natural advantage from facing left-handers. And in the first inning against the Braves tonight, it was again a lefty that got Lannan in trouble.

After Lannan gave up an infield single and a walk in the first, Brian McCann hit a fastball on the inner half of the plate for a two-run double. The Nationals scored a run in the top of the second on a Laynce Nix single, but they trail 2-1 after two.

Nix continues to be a pleasant surprise for the Nationals, snatching some of the playing time in left field from Michael Morse. But Lannan’s struggles against lefties are why the Nationals trail so far. His fastball tails in slightly to left-handers, and while his breaking pitches are solid offerings, they’re not sharp enough to be consistent out pitches.

He gave up another hit to left-hander Nate McLouth in the second, but was able to end the inning with McLouth stranded at second.