Lannan is locked in
John Lannan entered the season as the Nationals pitching ace by default. After a rough start, he has pitched like one. He went 0-2 with a 10.00 ERA and a .366 BAA in his first two starts. He was the Nationals Opening Day starter against the Marlins but lasted 3.0 innings and surrendered six earned runs. His second start was slightly better against the Braves. He pitched 6.0 innings and gave up four runs.
Since April 17th, Lannan has been locked in and his 2.65 ERA ranks sixth in the NL. Lannan’s numbers get even more impressive if you remove his May 25th start against the Mets at Citi Field, when he pitched 5.0 innings and gave up eight hits, four walks and five runs. In those 10 starts since April 17th, he is 3-2 with a 2.14 ERA (63.0 IP/15 ER), 34 strikeouts, 24 walks and seven quality starts. In June, he leads all NL pitchers–minimum 15.0 innings pitched–with a 0.60 ERA. Like last season, he has been plagued by the Nationals inability to score runs. He sports the fourth lowest run support average in the NL.
All those numbers will be obsolete tonight when Lannan takes the mound against his hometown team. He grew up a Yankees fan in Long Island, N.Y. and now has the task of keeping their bats at bay.
“I went to more games at Yankee Stadium than I did at Shea Stadium,” Lannan said. “I’m going to try to control my emotions as much as possible. It’s going to be exciting. Believe it or not, I have more people calling me for Yankees tickets. I wasn’t expecting that. I was expecting it to be even [like Citi Field]. But it’s kind of crazy.”