John is up against maybe, just maybe, a Phillies team coming back to Earth. Since August 26th through Friday Philadelphia had gone a mind-bending 23-4, going from 70-57 to 93-61. That's a month of play for the history books. Almost as impressive is the 45-15 record they put up since being a mere 2 games over .500 at the end of July. Still, the Mets just beat them 2 games in a row over the weekend and they clinched a playoff spot, so maybe, just maybe, they are winding down. Of course this is THE bad matchup for Lannan. He's the rare southpaw who does well against righties, and the Phillies are lefty-loaded. If he can do well against the Phillies that bodes very well... for next year of course.
Other notes :
The fact Livan didn't get the W last night ensures that Tyler Clippard will lead the Nats in wins this year. He also has a shot at being the team leader in strikeouts* Sarcastic congratulations to Tyler! *(Strasburg - who pitched about a third of a season, will finish 3rd for the Nats)
Assuming Adam Dunn gets another homer, he'll be only the 3rd player ever to have 7 consecutive seasons with 38 or more homers. Rafael Palmiero and Babe Ruth are the other two. Of course 38 is a totally arbitrary number, so don't take it to mean that he's one of the best 3 home run hitters of all time or anything. (lower the limit to 35 and Sosa has 10 in a row, 33 and Bonds has like 13) The fact illustrates though, that Adam Dunn might be the best slugger of the post-steroid era not named Pujols; (random testing began in 2004, the first year of Dunn's streak) and Adam has had amazing durability (several streaks of high home-runs were broken by missing games)
Sayonara Scott Olsen. (and I say that because I'm pretty sure he's a Japanese League level talent)
In the same article we read that Riggleman wants a leadoff hitter. That's nice. What does Rizzo want? What about the soon to be all-powerful Lerners?