John Lannan has made 125 career starts. Saturday night was only the third time he ever failed to record nine outs while on the mound for Washington. The Houston Astros ended up taking batting practice off the Nats’ left-handed starter in the third inning of Saturday night’s game. They got seven hits and six runs (four earned) off Lannan, which halted the game’s momentum.
Lannan lasted 2 1/3 innings and gave up eight hits, six runs (four earned), one walk, and one strikout over 55 pitches (36 strikes). He also committed a throwing error to first after the Astros had already scored four runs in the third. Needless to say, Saturday night was far from being Lannan’s best outing for the Nationals.
To add to the injury the Astros inflicted upon the Nats, Washington couldn’t string together a big enough offensive output to regain a semblance of a lead in the 9-3 loss. After hitting back-to-back singles in the fourth, Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse both scored off a two-RBI single hit by rookie first basemen Chris Marrero. The Nats scored again in the sixth inning off a solo homerun from Morse, his 27 of the season, but that was it for Davey Johnson’s lineup.
Washington’s bullpen gave up three runs over 7 2/3 innings of work. Yunesky Maya relieved Lannan of the third inning blowout, giving up four hit and two runs in 2 1/3 innings of work. Colin Balester relieved Maya and put on a spotless two innings of work including two strikeouts. Rookie and recent September call-up Atahualpa Severino also got to pitch, giving up two hits and striking out two.
Todd Coffey gave up one more run to the Astros in the ninth but Doug Slaten was able to finish Houston off for Washington, thereby ending a struggle of a night of the Nationals.