The Washington Times - July 4, 2009, 02:18PM

Today figured to be the best pitching matchup of the weekend, maybe one of the better ones of the season from the Nats’ perspective, with John Lannan going up against rookie phenom Tommy Hanson.

Sure enough, we’re halfway through this one and there’s only been one run combined between the Nats and Braves. Lannan has been sharp, scattering five hits, four of them singles. Atlanta, though, pushed a run across in the third when No. 8 hitter (and last night’s hero) Brooks Conrad singled up the middle, took second on Hanson’s sac bunt and then scored on Nate McLouth’s single up the middle.

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The Nats have had no such luck against Hanson, who came in without allowing a run in any of his last three starts and still hasn’t been scored upon today through four innings. Nick Johnson and Anderson Hernandez each has a single, but that’s it so far. No real scoring threats from Washington.

So that’s where we stand at the midway point on Independence Day: Atlanta leads 1-0.