Nationals Baseball: Lannan's revenge

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Lannan's revenge

You guys all know I have a soft spot for the Lannan. The guy anchored the team's staff when they were really no good, and after they built up a good team they gave him the shaft. That's how I see it. He could have been the 5th starter, but the Nats went in another, quite baffling direction (let's just say it was the Wang way.  Get it  GET IT).  After Lannan didn't dutifully say "Thanks for the opportunity, General!" but instead voiced a greivance, well his time here was done.  

I like Lannan not because he's a nice guy or anything. I have no idea. I like Lannan because he defies expectations. This is his 7th year pitching in the majors an outside of the one which he was injured, he's beaten his xFIP in every one. He's doing it again this year (if you take out his pre-injury start he's got a 3.13 ERA actually). He's a living reminder that models don't work for everyone. They can't work for everyone. That's not how models behave. There are somethings out there in baseball that we still can't explain. That doesn't mean you should disregard the models for everyone else. That's dumb. But it does mean there can be someone that defies the model. That there's hope that a guy you like or a guy your team needs to perform, can come through despite what the numbers tell you, not because of something silly like guts or heart or even "luck", but because the story the numbers tell is still incomplete. 

You'd be foolish not to believe what the numbers say, to plan accordingly. But you're not stupid to hold out hope the numbers are wrong in this one particular situation. 

Haren pitched well last night. Once that data is in I'll come back and do a post to see if he did anything differently or if it was just one of those nights where he caught a break. 

19 comments:

Clip&Store said...

No mention of our offense reverting to "make a mediocre pitcher look like cy young"? I guess I won't get too worked up, I'll chop it up to an off night after a few great offensive nights. But jeeze, when Haren finally does well enough to keep the opponent in check, we gotta take advantage!

Booyah Suckah! said...

Gotta agree with C&S. It's frustrating to score 13 when Stras is out there or 8 when ZNN is on the mound, but 2 (and a worthless 2, at that) when the guy with the worst ERA in the majors is out there. Stras doesn't need 13 runs to win. More often than not, however, it seems like Haren does. Yes, I know you can't pick and choose, and it's better to have those runs any time than not have them at all... but frustrating, all the same.

BlueLoneWolf said...

Unfortunately you kind of have to chalk it up to a night where the guys were exhausted from bombing someone else over the weekend. It's kind of a bummer- out of the whole Phils rotation, you screw up your chance to bomb their number 5, have fun trying to win a game on Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels.

But the ridiculous batting was definitely unsustainable, and yesterday was obviously a special instance because there was a rook on the mound that wasn't like a Matt-Harvey-shut-you-down type that really blew up hard. So all you can do is frown and move on.

d28 said...

My coworker noticed that our batters were standing in the back of the batter's box the whole game, while Lannon threw the ball to drop over the front of the plate. Apparently we never made an adjustment and were trying to hit bombs, which made it easy for Philly. Said Lannon made the Braves fall into this pattern last year too. Any credence to this theory?

Doug S said...

Great Post. You explained better than I ever could why I like Lannan. It makes losing a little easier to bear when he wins.

Doug S said...

Great Post. You explained better than I ever could why I like Lannan. It makes losing a little easier to bear when he wins.

Froggy said...

4 wins 10 (TEN) losses. You might have thought he pitched 'well' Harper, but the fact is he lost...again. So what if he struck out 7 or 8? He has been so erratic and inconsistent (or consistent depending on how you look at it) and if he didn't carry a $13 million dollar investment around his neck would be in Syracuse 'working it out' right now.

On the other hand, I was really happy for Lannon and hope he beats us and wins every game for the rest of the season so I can roll it up and stick it in Rizzo's eye. (not that Rizzo gives a hoot) Totally agree with you Harper that after all the years of loyalty and of being a quiet professional he was badly treated by Rizzo. He should have been the 5th starter or kept in the pen at least.

DCNatty said...

Haren pitched well? hahaha...the dude was getting line drives smoked al lover the place against him. Walked a bunch. I didnt think he pitched well...I feel he got lucky it wasnt 5-6 runs posted on him.

Didnt matter since Lannon was unhittable. hahaha. unreal.

Its been said before...this team will be frustrating all year and will not get more then 5-6 games over .500. So it goes

d28 said...

Sorry! I misspelled Lannan

1st in W.A.R. said...

"Dan Haren pitched well."

Dan Haren gave up 7 hits and 3 walks over 5 innings against an offense that isn't very intimidating. That's a WHIP of 2.0. Do that over only 5 innings, and you're typically getting shelled for 6 or 7 runs. He gave up only 2 runs because he was very very lucky to have spread out those hits and walks. Let's just say my concerns have not been alleviated.

Booyah Suckah! said...

Froggy, while I agree that Haren should be (and would be, if he were cheaper) a lost cause, basing it on his 4-10 record doesn't make the case for me. Pitcher wins is a stupid, stupid stat. As I posted on a thread a few days ago, we had two great pitchers (ZNN and Gio, if I recall correctly) take no decisions last week despite pitching like aces. Meanwhile, the 'pen guys who both blew leads (Storen and Ohlendorf) both ended up with Ws because the offense bailed them out in the next half inning.

There are plenty of reasons to beat on Haren, but W-L shouldn't be one of them. His 6.00 ERA, 19 HRs allowed, and 1.471 WHIP out to be plenty.

Booyah Suckah! said...

*ought

BenDen said...

Sorry to be the odd man out. Lannan's terrible, and that only makes last night all the more embarrassing.

In 2010 & 2011 as our "ace" Lannan posted WARS of 0.1 and 0.9. He's always had a terrible SO/BB ratio, but still gives up 3 BB/9.

As we were looking at the 2012 season we were seeing a guy with always terrible peripherals whose ERA and WAR were deteriorating from 08-09 and no reason to assume he'd turn it around.

We bumped him down to give our 6 million dollar DL project a chance (not defending that move in any way) and he throws a hissy-fit. He was performing almost EXACTLY at replacement level.

It was the right move to bump him out, regardless of how the experiment went from there. His attitude at the decision sealed the deal.

Good riddance, just don't 2 hit us through 7 innings again.

Anonymous said...

I was happy for Lannan yesterday.

Froggy said...

Booyah~ Although I'm not ready to call W/L a 'stupid, stupid stat' you are right the pitcher's W/L record should not be the only stat used to assess a pitcher. But, if we were to count the two losses on May 25 and June 17 (both against the Phillies BTW) that he didn't get charged for, Haren would be 4 and 12.

Another way of looking at it is the Nats have lost 9 straight games that Haren has pitched. No one can have bad luck for 9 straight games and still be considered a starter worthy pitcher, even a #5. I believe you want your #5 to go at least .500 right?

JT said...

Why do the Nats have such a dismal record against southpaws? Its just baffling to me.

Booyah Suckah! said...

Froggy, no question, he's not good. He's bad. I just think pitcher W-L has virtually no correlation with actual pitcher quality. Strasbourg has the same record as Rick Porcello and Travis Wood, but I don't think we're saying they're of equal talent. He's tied for 66th in winning percentage, but I don't think anyone wants to argue that there are 65 better pitchers in the majors. Point being, I don't think it should be used at all. Ever. For any argument. There are so many better stats out there.

But your second point about losing X games in a row when Haren is pitching... I get that, totally.

Kenny B. said...

And now the painful slide back to the season status quo: 6 games back fighting to stay out of third and above .500. That's just who this team is this year. Even when they score a dozen runs the relief corps keeps it close enough to keep everyone nervous.

You'll lose a couple of games here and there even if you're a good team, especially when Haren and some rookie are on the mound, but again, we see this offense flailing against mediocre pitching. I still say we need a ritual firing.

Chaz R said...

Totally agree about Lannan. I watched him laboring for so many bad Nats teams, he deserved to share in the good days. He is just a mediocre pitcher, but certainly good enough to be a #5 anywhere. He deserved the opportunity with the new Nats.