Know Your Nats: John Lannan

You asked the questions and John Lannan answered them. Lannan gets the start on the mound tonight as the Nats begin a four game series with the Pirates. Lannan was lights out in his last start vs. the Padres, pitching 8.0 innings giving up only five hits, one run and one walk. He left as the pitcher of record but got the no-decision. Lannan has posted a quality start in nine of his last 10 outings and has recorded a quality start in 37 of 58 (64%) career assignments, including a team leading 14 this season. He has allowed three earned runs or less in 17 of his last 19 starting assignments in 2009.

lannan12.jpgQuestions for John Lannan:

1.      Greg from Potomac, MD: What do you think of your nickname “The Cannon?” What other nicknames have you had? Do you have a favorite?
The nickname the cannon, it’s ok. Cannon really reminds me of somebody who throws fast, like a cannon ball. So it just rhymes with my last name, I kind of like it. Guys usually just call me Lannan and that’s been my name since high school.”

2.      John from Herndon, VA: What does it mean to be the ace of the staff? And are you it?
No, I do not think I’m the ace. I just like to go out there and give the team a chance to win every time I go out there. I know with confidence that if I’m out there, we have a pretty good chance of winning so that’s what I think on what kind of pitcher I am. I don’t think I am the ace. I think we got a lot of young pitchers and we all contribute.

3.      Juan from CT: Who is the toughest hitter you have ever faced? What makes them so tough to get out?
All hitters are tough, but I have to say that Chase Utley is pretty tough just because he stands so close to the dish and he’s pretty patient and he’s just a tough lefty to get out.

4.      Tony from Hempstead, NY: Who is your favorite cartoon character and why?
Scooby Doo is my favorite because he’s always solving mysteries and he’s always hungry. Kind of reminds me of myself.

5.      Dan from Brooklyn, NY: What was it like pitching at Yankee Stadium for the first time?
It was great. I loved it. It was the new stadium, so it wasn’t the old one. It would have been better if it was at the old one but the new stadium was awesome. My whole family was there and it was just a great feeling for me and my family.

6.      Yukari from Rockville, MD: If you could spend a day with any baseball player, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Cy Young… because I want to know what he did to be so successful back then.

7.      Marie from Alexandria: What is your favorite restaurant in DC?
Right now, Matchbox. It’s in Chinatown. It’s a pizza place. It’s pretty chill and they’ve got great food.

8.      Ron from Scotch Plains, NJ: If you could be any vegetable, what would you be and why?
If I could be any vegetable, I would be a tomato. Yeah. I don’t know why. I just made that up.

9.      Katie from Fairfax, VA: What is the greatest feeling you have ever had as a baseball player?
Greatest feeling? I mean, every time I go out there on the mound. That’s why I love doing this and I love playing baseball, it’s because every time I go out there, it’s the same feelings. It will never go away.

10.  Kim from Bowie, MD: Are there any pitchers that you model your play after?
Growing up, I always watched Andy Pettitte and Tom Glavine. But I have my own style of pitching. Those guys are great and they have different pitches and they’ve had great careers so I would like to model my careers after those guys.  But style? I think I have my own style.

11.  Mike Henderson: Have you had a chance to follow the progress of any of the pitchers the Nats have selected and signed so far in this year’s draft? Does anybody in particular stand out?
I’ve followed Storen. I met him when he signed with the Nationals so I followed him when he was in Hagerstown and he’s doing really well. He got promoted to Potomac so hopefully he’ll be up here in September.

12.  Michael from Discovery: How do you keep motivated when the team is struggling?
It’s the game of baseball. You’re going to have your ups and downs. You just have to stay calm and keep on working hard. It’s a judge of character when you’re losing, so you have to stay mentally strong and good times are going to come.

13.  Gavin from section 138: I’m trying to figure out the tattoo on the inside of your arm. Can you say what it is? Also, did you get a new roommate, or do you have to pay for all the rent by yourself now that Joel was traded? Did Nyjer move in?
My tattoo is a cross. It’s the same cross my grandmother gave me when I graduated high school so I did that and it’s my initials, J.L., on the bottom of it. And the second part of that question, Joel did move out and I have a new roommate. It’s Tyler Clippard.

14.  Sandra from Bethesda: Did you have anybody growing up in Long Island who you considered a role model and helped you get to where you are today?
Yeah, growing up I had a coach, his name is Tommy Bean, and he really helped me out. He coached me throughout Little League and high school ball. He always told me that I had something special and I never really believed him but now he kind of rubs it in my face. He’s been a great supporter of mine and I’ve always looked up to him.

15.  Susan from the United States: When you were younger did you ever think about being a professional baseball player or did it just kind of happen? Also, what would you be doing if you weren’t playing baseball?
No, actually as a kid I loved playing baseball, but I didn’t in a million years really think of becoming a baseball player. It just sort of happened later on in life. If I wasn’t playing baseball… I got my degree in marketing and management, so I’d probably be doing some kind of advertising and marketing for a business something or other.

16.  Eric from DC: Have you ever thought about growing a good luck mustache? Will you? Never. I look like my dad, and my dad rocked a mustache in the late-’80s, early-’90s, and I’m not doing it. Sorry.


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