Originally written on The Nats Blog  |  Last updated 11/10/14
Natsbraves_dc07

Things didn’t look all that good for the Washington Nationals half way through this four-game series against the Atlanta Braves. But a former Nats number one starter and the best number five pitcher in baseball had something to say about that.

Friday night was a particularly hard loss for the Nats, as they had a nine-run lead through five innings, which they eventually blew in the eleventh for an 11-10 loss. With a shutout loss in game one of the double header on Saturday, some fans decided game two on Saturday was a “must-win.” Even though it wasn’t, because it was July 21, the Nats rebounded in a big way for a series win behind John Lannan and Ross Detwiler.

Lannan was masterful in his call up appearance for the Nats on Saturday evening, where he gave up two early runs in the first but didn’t allow another run for the rest of his seven inning outing. He was quickly optioned back down to Triple-A Syracuse after the game, but he said all the right things and helped the club win. While I don’t subscribe to the “biggest game of the season” commentary, it was a huge win for the Nats to help salvage a series split. 

Detwiler did his best on Sunday to mirror Lannan’s appearance. He, too, went seven innings, sacrificing just two runs (one earned). His fastball was dominating, and he simply owned a good-hitting Braves team. His performance shows why the Nats have been so successful. When you have a number five starter that has been as good as Ross, you can win a lot of games. He now has a 3.01 ERA on the season.

As a long-time Nats fan, it was bittersweet to see Lannan get sent down after his game. You knew it was coming, yet it still hurt. He did everything that was asked of him. He hasn’t cause a lot of drama about his demotion from day one, and he got the team a much-needed win. He’ll likely be up in a matter of weeks to replace Stephen Strasburg in the rotation, and you hope you get the same kind of guy. He has the chance to be another real feel good story for the Nats this season.

As the Nats split the series, they maintain the 3.5 game lead in the National League East, the same lead with which they entered action on Friday. They have a stretch upcoming in their schedule where they can really rack up some wins, though they’ll have to do it without their first-half MVP Ian Desmond, who is headed to the disabled list with an oblique tear. If they can get over yet another major injury obstacle, it seems like nothing can stop this team.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Cowboys to use franchise tag on Dez Bryant

Report: Panthers officially parting ways with Greg Hardy

Could the Eagles release LeSean McCoy?

AEG: Inglewood stadium would be a terrorism target

Former Knick Anthony Mason dies at age 48

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Blackhawks, Caps discussed Patrick Sharp trade

Giancarlo Stanton was 'angered' over $325 million offer

Colts, Cardinals, Cowboys interested in Adrian Peterson?

How much will Rousey and Zingano make for their fight?

Browns agree to three-year deal with Josh McCown

Bulls general manager expects Derrick Rose back in 4-6 weeks

WATCH: Jon Jones, Rumble Johnson prank Dana White

Anthony Mason: The most 'New York' of the 90's Knicks

Ray Rice addresses domestic violence case, his future & more

Kentucky raffling off Wildcats-themed motorcycle

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell throws down monster alley-oop

WATCH: Tyler Hansbrough, Festus Ezeli ejected for fight

WATCH: Russell Westbrook literally gets dent in his face

WATCH: Knicks' Alexey Shved tosses wild pass into stands

Ten players ready to make the leap in 2015

WATCH: Reggie Bush says he won't quit football

PHOTO: ECHL team will wear Dr. Seuss jerseys

Report: Baron Davis in talks to join a contending team

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Anthony Mason: The most 'New York' of the 90's Knicks

Could Eagles release LeSean McCoy?

AEG plays dirty with Inglewood stadium

Anthony Mason dies at age 48

Westbrook got dent in his cheek

Earl Lloyd and basketball’s cruel February

WATCH: Barkley rips analytics again

A-Rod: A con man returns to baseball

Bostick death threats show why some fans take sports too seriously

Russell Westbrook is surging into the MVP conversation

Five-round NFL Mock Draft

Key offseason moves for every MLB team

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.