The Washington Nationals (56-75) defeated Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals (69-59) this afternoon by a score of 4-2 in our nation’s capital.
John Lannan earned his sixth win of the season by going 7.2 innings giving up eight hits and one run while striking out four (two coming from Albert Pujols) and walking none. It was nice to see Lannan in control against disciplined Cardinal hitters.
Pitching wasn’t the only thing Lannan was good at in this game. In the bottom of the second, following singles by Adam Dunn and Mike Morse, Lannan doubled to left scoring the two base runners and putting the Nationals on the board 2-0.
Washington continued to put runs on the board the following inning thanks to a two run shot by Mike Morse. On the season, Morse is hitting .289 with ten home runs and 27 RBI. For most of the year it seems like Morse has been overlooked, but now he could be turning heads if he continues to swing the bat well.
No four run lead is comfortable, especially against St. Louis, who always find a way to win, but this was Lannan’s game, who cruised through the middle innings.
Drew Storen came in relief for Lannan in the eighth and entered the ninth looking to close the door, but unfortunately this is where things got interesting. On the first pitch of the ninth, Storen fired a pitch that went behind Matt Holliday, halting play for about ten minutes as both teams were issued warnings. The nerve-wracking inning continued with a solo home run by Pedro Feliz, cutting the lead to 4-2. Storen kept his cool, striking out Jon Jay and Colby Rasmus to end the game.
The Nationals took three of four from the Cardinals, who have now dropped ten of their last fifteen games. To the fans this was more than a huge series win against a great team – it was something to get their mind off the recent news surrounding Stephen Strasburg.
The team now heads down to Florida to open a six game road trip against the Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates.