“Lannen” may be due a bit more respect after the starting pitcher beat the Phillies for the first time in 14 tries. He had been 0-10 with a 6.44 ERA against Philadelphia, but with some help from Laynce Nix’s(notes) homer, Washington managed to eke out a 2-1 victory.
“It would be great if they got my name right,” said Lannan, whose name was also misspelled on Opening Day, when he was “Lannon.”
The spelling mistake sure didn’t effect Lannan (3-5) on a stifling afternoon with temps well into the 90s. He pitched into the sixth inning, allowing just an unearned run and four hits for his first victory in eight starts.
“I never pitch well against them—and today was just different,” Lannan said.
Nix’s home run in the third—his ninth of the year—off Roy Oswalt(notes) (3-3) gave Washington a 2-1 lead. Nix then contributed with his glove in the six, when the left-fielder went to his left and made a diving catch off Domonic Brown’s(notes) sinking liner with the bases loaded.
“It was like it was in slow motion, him coming in and making the catch,” Lannan said.
Brown was batting for Oswalt, and was sure he had a key hit.
“That’s a great play, a Gold Glove-type play out there, especially in that situation,” Brown said. “How they had me played, I thought it was going to fall in.”
Nix already has 122 at-bats this season, 43 fewer than he had with Cincinnati a year ago, and his nine home runs are five more than a year ago.
The Nationals took the last two games of the three-game series against the Phillies.
“That’s their decision. He’s the manager of the team. I don’t question too much of that, but that’s the first time I’ve been taken out at 79 pitches,” Oswalt said. “We’ll see how it goes.”
Manuel noted that it was hot, and a lot of Oswalt’s pitches were borderline. It was Oswalt’s fourth start since missing three weeks with a lower back injury. He hasn’t won since April 21.
The Phillies tied it in the top of the second when Ryan Howard(notes) doubled, Ben Francisco(notes) drew a walk and, with one out, Carlos Ruiz(notes) hit a grounder to third. Alex Cora(notes) booted the groundball for an error and Howard came in to score.
In the top of the third, Lannan hit John Mayberry(notes) with a pitch. He stole second before Howard’s one-out single to short right, where Danny Espinosa(notes) had shifted. Mayberry tried to score from second, but Espinosa’s throw to the plate was in time for the out.
Lannan pitched 5 1-3 innings. He allowed an unearned run and four hits with three walks, striking out one and hitting a batter—and yet it was good enough.
Oswalt allowed two runs and six hits in five innings. He walked two, struck out three and also hit a batter.
NOTES: Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins(notes) did not start for just the second time this season. He pinch-hit for Wilson Valdez(notes) in the sixth … Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said that Bryce Harper(notes), last year’s first draft choice, is not ready to be promoted from Class-A Hagerstown. “He’ll be moved at some time. We’re just not at the point where he’s ready to move yet,” Rizzo said. Harper is batting .331 with 11 homers and 36 RBIs. … Rizzo said he hasn’t written off 1B Adam LaRoche(notes), who’s on the DL with a torn labrum in his left shoulder. “I’m not going to worry until I have to worry. Right now, he’s on a two-week shutdown and a two-week ramp up,” Rizzo said. … Cora left the game after four innings with “stomach issues.” Jerry Hairston, who was spiked by Valdez in the fifth, replaced him. … Washington 1B Michael Morse(notes) has hit in 10 straight games.