The Washington Times - July 26, 2009, 03:03PM

To say that John Lannan cruised through the first five innings of today’s game would be a gross understatement. The lefty didn’t just cruise. He went through the Padres lineup at warp speed.

Through the fifth inning, Lannan had thrown a total of 43 pitches. FORTY-THREE! And only seven of those pitches were balls. SEVEN! His pitch count per inning: 13-11-9-6-4. So assuming he took the maximum eight warm-up tosses each time, he actually threw more warm-up pitches (24) from the third through the fifth than actual pitches (19). Stunning.

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Lannan did finally show signs of mortality in the sixth. He allowed a pair of doubles, needed 20 pitches to get through the inning and allowed the Padres to score their first run of the afternoon.

That wouldn’t be a problem if the Nationals had only had some small amount of success against San Diego starter Chad Gaudin. Alas, they’ve been inept at the plate as well, producing three singles so far, two by Lannan. After last night’s 1 a.m. finish, you get the sense both of these lineups want to just get out of here as fast as they can today.

But if the Nats aren’t careful, they’re going to walk out of here with a 1-0 loss and waste an absolute gem by Lannan.