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Nationals’ John Lannan will finally get his chance to pitch in pennant race
Spent the year in Triple-A, will take Strasburg’s rotation spot
Triple-A pitching coach Greg Booker talked it out with Lannan and advised the left-hander to go back to his natural form. The result was a stronger downward angle on the ball, a better control of his pitches and a 1.63 ERA in August.
But for the most part, while he was toiling away, he watched from afar while the teammates he had slogged through many a losing season with soared.
“You can’t take it too personally,” he said. “I’m very happy for these guys. There was a lot of tough times here. Growing pains. Just to see it come to fruition, the Lerner family and [general manager] Mike Rizzo’s plan, just seeing it happen you can’t be anything but happy and proud of the guys that they put in place.”
It’s perhaps fitting, then, that Lannan will be thrust back into the fire when it’s as hot as it’s ever been. Entering Tuesday night’s game, the Nationals led the NL East by 6½ games, and they’ll need Lannan’s help in locking down the first playoff spot in franchise history.
“I think everybody trusts him,” Stammen said. “Rather than bringing up somebody we don’t know about that we’ve never had on the team before and being put in a situation like that, we trust John. He’s been put in all these situations before. He’s been asked to do a lot. This will be easy for him.”
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About the Author
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.
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