John Lannan Finds His Inner Slugger, Launches First Career Home Run

This was John Lannan a little over two weeks ago in a start against the Colorado Rockies…and this was the same John Lannan last night in his start against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Washington Nationals starting left-hander has taken it upon himself to literally power his team to wins, as the career .101 batter is 4 for 6 with four RBI including a home run in his past two starts. But it’s not just his performance at the plate that’s been impressive as he is putting it all together on the mound as well.

After starting the year 2-5 with a 5.03 ERA, Lannan has quietly righted the ship by improving his record to 7-6 and dropping his ERA down to a respectable 3.51. Since May 27th, the Nationals are 8-3 in Lannan’s starts and he has gone at least five innings in each game, excluding the start in which he left due to the nasal contusion.

There is no question Lannan has turned a corner this year. After being sent down in the midst of last season to work on his control, the Manhasset, NY native has been a staple in the Nationals rotation and has shown signs of improvement all season long. He just seems to be more comfortable all-around which, in turn, improves confidence and performance.

I admire how after a rough start to the 2011 campaign, he has kept his head on straight and didn’t throw in the towel for the season, which is easy to do for a young pitcher.

Sure, his sudden run production at the plate is probably a tease, but his grittiness as made evident by not missing a start following his facial injury is extremely admirable and something the front office should take into account when deciding his future.