2013 Game Recaps

Lannan Twirls A Gem In Phils Win

John Lannan was unhittable on Monday night at CBP (Photo: AP).

John Lannan was unhittable on Monday night at CBP (Photo: AP).

Ruben Amaro publicly challenged his players when he decreed this 10-game homestand the tipping point of the 2013 season.  So far so good through four games, as the Phillies topped the Nationals on Monday night, 3-2, to climb within 2.5 games of second place Washington.

John Lannan (2-3, 4.26 ERA) threw eight innings of shutout ball and Ben Revere fueled the offense with his bat and his legs, tallying three hits, a steal and scoring two of the three Phillies runs.  Jimmy Rollins also had a good night, following two Revere hits with singles of his own in innings that led to runs.  Jonathan Papelbon navigated through a rocky ninth – two hits, a few loud outs – to capture his 19th save of the season.

The Phillies are now 4-3 against the Nationals this year and have three more against them this week at Citizens Bank Park.


– Lannan was magnificent in his second outing against his former team.  The lefthander retired the side in order in four of his eight frames, allowing only four hits and a pair of walks.  He induced 12 groundouts in eight innings.  Monday night was unequivocally Lannan’s best start as a member of the Phillies.  He needed only 109 pitches to get through eight, the first time he’s hit triple digits in 24 outings dating back to 2011.  He lowered his ERA to a respectable 4.26 on the season.

– It isn’t out of the ordinary for Lannan to pile up the goose eggs this season, but as ESPN’s Rick Sutcliffe pointed out in the fourth, the lefty has been the victim of big innings in most of his bad outings.  In his three losses, Lannan has surrendered innings of three, four and five runs.  He was able to avoid that on Monday night – or really anything close to it – and was rewarded with his second win of the season.


– For the second straight game, the Phillies offense put a pair of runs on the board in the first inning.  Revere, who entered the night hitting .337 since an underwhelming April, singled to lead off the first and eventually stole third before scoring on a Domonic Brown single.  A few batters later, Darin Ruf put together a quality at-bat with the bases loaded, drawing a walk and collecting his first RBI of 2013.

– Nats starter Dan Haren settled in a bit after a rocky first, holding the Phils at bay before he was pulled after the fifth inning.  Revere was back at it in the sixth – this time off Fernando Abad – slapping a double down the leftfield line and scoring on a two-out Rollins single.


– With Ryan Howard now out 6-8 weeks, the Phillies will be forced to find out what they have in Ruf.  While he won’t be playing much outfield, they should be able to get some type of extended read on how his bat will play at the major league level.  On Monday night, Ruf looked good in two at-bats and bad in two others.  He showed impressive patience in his first at-bat and singled in his fourth, but then struck out twice in between on a pair of similar Haren sliders.


– In the first inning, ESPN’s Dave O’Brien noted that Ruf’s at-bat against Haren, a walk that forced in a run, involved a more professional approach than the previous at-bat of Delmon Young.  Uh, yeah… welcome to life as a 2013 Phillies fan.  We see it.  It took O’Brien about five minutes to see it.  When will the Phillies see it?  Young’s been productive of late, but the guy is just not a very good hitter.

– With three hits on the night, Revere’s batting average is exactly .300.  At .300/.335/.350, the centerfielder’s slash line is eerily similar to his .294/.333/.342 line from a year ago.  His play since April has been a silver lining in what’s been a maddening season.  Revere is under team control through 2017, which makes him quite valuable on a roster that currently has eight guys making over $10 million this year.

– Speaking of former Twins centerfielders, Denard Span went 0-for-4 on Monday for the Nats.  With a similar line to Revere – .264/.319/.359 to be exact – Span is essentially a much older (29 vs. 25), much more expensive ($4.75MM vs. $515K) version of the same player.  I’m not the guy’s biggest fan, but score one for RAJ on that one.

Carlos Ruiz made a flawless throw to second base to nail a stealing Bryce Harper in the fourth inning.  Harper got a great jump on Lannan, but Ruiz unleashed a laser that landed in the perfect spot to beat Harper.



  1. Lefty

    July 8, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Nice job John Lannan, that was big time. And I have to agree with Alex about the Revere/Span comparison, looks like RA Jr. got the better of that duo.

  2. brooks

    July 8, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Terrific job by the x-Nat Lannan.
    Scary performance by Paps! I don’t think Paps could induce a ground out – the Nats were connecting big time.

    • Lefty

      July 8, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      Clearly he did not have it tonight.

  3. Alex Lee

    July 8, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    @lefty yep, and when you consider BJ Uptons struggles it looks even better…

  4. Lefty

    July 8, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Look at those Fish giving the Braves all they can handle going into the top of the 13th.

  5. Bruce

    July 9, 2013 at 12:46 am

    Good win for the Fightin’ Phils tonight. This team can be maddening at times with their lack of consistency so far this season. However, I’ll take the good with the bad and enjoy the wins when we can get it.

    Lannan must feel great satisfaction in shutting down his former team tonight. Especially when he was demoted to the minors last season by the Nats management. The Nats had a four game win streak but were helpless against the crafty pitching of Lannan. I’m hoping Lannan can show this consistency in his future start(s).

    I’ll bet a few here who were down on Revere earlier in the season feels a bit of guilt and embarrassed on their misjudgement. I’ll admit I was having some doubts althouigh not as strong as others who threw Revere “under the bus”. As the saying goes, the season is a marathon … not a sprint. Allow time for hitters/pitchers to make adjustments.

    Poor Ryan Howard. He is another victim of premature judgment by critics (kind choice of word for fans and media alike). It seem very few here consider Howard’s nagging knee problem to be an issue for his hitting struggles and lack of consistent power. Now the news is out that indeed the problem with his knee is more serious than led to believed and Howard will probably be out for the rest of the season. I doubt the ‘haters’ with their mindset will be forgiving but the rest of us can give Howard a “pass” for this season and wish him a speedy recovery and come back strong for next season.

    • Ken Bland

      July 9, 2013 at 11:21 am

      Guilt or embarrassment on Revere isn’t EXACTLY applicable here. He’s smacking the ball with authority, a major change, and that, ya gotta love. Personally, I’d just prefer calling that part of his game a miscall. I’d still like to feel more confident in his defensive and baserunning headsupedness.

      But he’s clearly been a real asset on the whole. Longer term asset? Oh, he more than likely might be, but largely cause you tend to have unreal expectations.

  6. Phillies fan from Germany

    July 9, 2013 at 4:15 am

    Big win with our – on paper – worst starter on the mound. Now with Hamels, Lee and Kendrick going the series looks very winnable, and it is definitely a must win series. Sooner or later they will have to make a run if they want to have a chance at the playoffs and this is the time!

  7. teejvee

    July 9, 2013 at 6:43 am

    Braves will not be impossible to catch. SP is nothing special and their lineup has major holes.

    • George

      July 9, 2013 at 9:35 am

      Unfortunately, the Phils also have starting pitching which is nothing special (at least so far) and their lineup also has major holes. And at least the Braves have a good bullpen and a right fielder and third baseman who can actually move.

      It’s not impossible, but it’s not going to be easy to catch them.

  8. Bart Shart

    July 9, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Bruce, Personally, I am totally humiliated on being down on Revere earlier in the season and bet forgiveness from the bloggers at Phillies Nation. Looks like a good deal for the Phils after all. Sometimes Ruben Jr. gets things right.

    • loupossehl

      July 9, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      Actually, when you look at four of Ruben’s key moves over the winter: Revere, the Young “brothers” (Michael and Delmon), and Lannan …

      they range from pretty good to damn good. I see Delmon as stopgap, but would be in no hurry to do anything with the other three.

      I owe the Young “brothers” idea to a couple of kids I passed on the street in Baltimore, about 100 years ago. They were extolling the virtues of the “Robinson brothers” – Brooks and Frank.

  9. Dave

    July 9, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Not suprised that Papelbon was getting shelled. He just kept throwing fastballs down the middle of the plate. We were lucky to win that game.

  10. teejvee

    July 9, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    As long as we’re apologizing for Revere, I’d like to add Delmon young in there, too.

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