JOHN LANNAN, MY FAVORITE BEATLE

Actually John Lannan is a young lefty with the Washinton Nationals, not a member of the Band from Liverpool. Although Lannan is only a .500 pitcher with an ERA in the mid-threes, he is starting to get noticed around the league. Last night John faced the very tough lineup of the Houston Astros, allowing one run on seven hits over six innings of work. In the sixth he looked to be in trouble when Lance Berkman & Carlos Lee reached base with nobody out, but the unflapable rookie induced Miguel Tejada to rap into a 6-4-3 doubleplay and then got the next hitter to ground to short to get out of the jam.

The 6’5″ 200 pound lefty out of Mineola, NY, a product of Siena was drafted in the 11th round of the 2005 draft. In his last year at Siena he was 10-2 with a nifty 2.29 ERA. Then last year Lannan was was 12-3 cruising through A+, AA, & AAA, before being called up to the Nats. With Washington he had an ERA of 4.15 with a 2-2 mark in six starts.

In his major league debut against the Phillies on July 26, 2007, John hit Chase Utley with a pitch breaking Utley’s hand, then he hit Ryan Howard, and was ejected from the game, becoming the first rookie pitcher ejected from his debut.

On August 6th Lannan found himself on center stage as he faced the Giants at AT&T Park in SF in Barry Bonds’ in his first start after tying Hank Aaron’s alltime home run mark. Bonds didn’t fare well in his four plate appearances against the 22 year old lefty, fouling to 3rd, walking, grounding into a doubleplay, and striking out. Despite his efforts against the Giants, the Nationals lost the game 3-2 in eleven innings.

Lannan is 3-3 with a 3-3 record in seven starts this year. This is a special rookie, with the heart of a lion, who should have a long & successful major league career.

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