GAME 45 REVIEW: Nats Fall to O's 8-3

Posted by Cheryl Nichols | Sunday, May 22, 2011 | , , , | 0 comments »

by Tyler Radecki, Staff Writer

LHP John Lannan tight-roped out of danger inning after inning in his last start against the Pirates. On Saturday afternoon at Camden Yards he wasn’t able to do the same, giving up six runs in six innings en route to an 8-3 loss at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles.

After the Nats scored two runs in the top of the third inning, Lannan surrendered four runs in the bottom of the inning off a Nolan Reimold 2-run home run and a 2-RBI single by Nick Markakis that saw Laynce Nix misplay the ball, allowing a runner to score, making it 3-2.

Vladimir Guerrero singled in the next at bat, driving in Markakis and making it 4-2 before the end of the inning. Four innings later, Lannan looked to have settled down, but gave up back-to-back doubles to Brandon Snyder and Robert Andino before he was pulled for Cole Kimball. Kimball gave up four hits and two runs before getting out of the inning.

Meanwhile, the Nationals offense was shut down after the third. In the sixth inning, the Nats got a walk from Nix and a single by Jayson Werth with one out, bringing up DH Matt Stairs. Stairs grounded into a double play to end the inning, killing the Nationals’ rally and their last big threat.

Stairs, who hit a double in the ninth inning and later scored, is now hitting .100 on the season, and has struggled all year long. How long can the Nationals carry a .100 hitter who can’t play any position? Stairs is getting by on his reputation right now, but that might not last him much longer.

After the sixth, the Nats had just three more hits. Danny Espinosa had a double and continued to hit well against Baltimore.

THE GOOD: Ian Desmond had a 2-for-4 day that included a double. His average is now up to .224.

THE BAD: Lannan gave up six earned runs over six innings with nine hits against, one walk, and six strikeouts. His ERA is now 5.03 and his W-L is 2-5, and it makes you wonder if the play of some of the minor league pitchers may force the Nats to make a move with Lannan.

THE UGLY: Markakis’s third inning single was hit to Laynce Nix in left field and he misplayed it before getting the throw in to Desmond. Desmond then double-pumped before he threw, and a runner scored on the play, giving the Orioles a lead they would never relinquish.

THE STATS: 3 runs, 7 hits, 1 error, 9 strikeouts, 4 walks, 0-4 w/ RISP, 5 LOB

NEXT GAME: Sunday at 1:35 against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (2-4, 4.13) faces RHP Chris Tillman (2-3, 5.35).