Nationals (9-7) Beat Cardinals (8-9), 8-6
The Nationals extended their longest winning streak of the year to 4, riding a strong start from John Lannan (W, 2-1, 3.43): 5 innings, 7 hits, 2 runs; 4 double plays turned by the defense; a 3-5 day from red-hot Danny Espinosa (.292), who continued tearing things up with his second triple in as many games (2); and a crucial lead-building 8th inning home run from Laynce Nix (.286), who was 2-4 with 2 RBI (6). The bullpen was shaky for the Nats however, with Chad Gaudin (7.04) continuing his struggles, allowing 3 unearned runs in 0.2 innings. Doug Slaten (0.00) came into the 6th inning to try and close it out, but allowed 2 of those unearned runs to score. Fortunately for Slaten, his ERA remains at 0.00. And after some more shakiness by the middle of the bullpen—namely Sean Burnett (3.24) who’s been slumping recently; he gave up 1 run on 3 hits in 0.2 innings—Drew Storen (0.77) got another save, his second, in 1.1 scoreless innings. Storen cleaned up Burnett’s mess with 2 outs in the 8th, ending the inning with one pitch. It seems as though Storen has come back from his Spring Training troubles and has begun to evolve into the elite closer we believed he’d be when we drafted him 10th overall in the 2009 draft.
The game, which was scheduled to be played on Tuesday, was delayed until Wednesday afternoon due to tornado warnings. It was the first half of the Nationals’ second straight double header.
For St. Louis, starter Jake Westbrook (L, 1-2, 9.82) had an early exit—he left after the third inning after allowing 7 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks; 6 of those runs were in the 3rd. Former closer Ryan Franklin (9.45), who is having a bafflingly bad start to 2011, gave up one run on one hit—Nix’s home run—and a walk in 2 innings of work. Possible future National Albert Pujols (.254) was 2-4 with a solo homer (5) and 2 RBI (12), and Colby Rasmus also homered (3) and had 3 RBI (8) for the Cardinals.
Could John Lannan be traded?
In news that everyone baseball fan has heard by now Gio Gonzalez was traded to the Nationals for 4 prospects, giving the Nationals a strong rotation in Strasburg, Gonzalez, Zimmermann, Lannan and Wang. But could it be that John Lannan could be traded?
So why would you trade Lannan in the first place? Well they did trade 4 top prospects for Gonzalez so they could want to help rebuild their farm system. Obviously you wouldn’t get anywhere near the same amount, but it could help. Or they could trade him for a center fielder as a bridge to Harper, or a power bat possibly.
Lannan had a good season in 2011 and his best. He went 10-13 with a 3.70 ERA. Lannan had a 0.7 HR/9 rate, and a pitched over 180 innings last season. A lot of teams like the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Marlins, Yankees, Orioles, Tigers, Twins, and more are looking for starting pitching. So with that possible competition the Nationals could be in luck.
The Nationals traded two top major league ready pitchers Tom Milone and Brad Peacock, both of which are expected to make the starting rotation for the Athletics next season. So who could take the stop for Lannan if traded? The answer has been right under their nose since 2009 with Ross Detwiler.
Since 2009 Detwiler has been an off and on starter for the Nationals, and also has pitched out of the bullpen. His best year arguable coming in 2011 with a 3.00 ERA and a 4-5 record. Out of his 10 starts in 2011, 5 of them were quality starts. Detwiler also posted a 2.7 BB/9 rate and a 1.0 HR/9 rate. He isn’t a great pitcher, but he would make a solid number 5 starter.