Originally written on The Nats Blog  |  Last updated 7/22/12
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

Hernandez tipster allegedly had sexual relationship with him

Rookie WR Tyler Lockett has Pete Carroll, Seahawks gushing

Packers TE returns to practice in wake of family tragedy

DeSean Jackson: Revis, Sherman can't stop me

Rob Gronkowski on Patriots LB Jamie Collins: ‘He’s a freak’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ray Allen won't officially retire in case he gets right offer

Cam Newton on taking hits: I'm not a ballerina

Warner impressed by progress made by pupil Kaepernick

Yordano Ventura threatened Jose Bautista on Twitter

Giants GM confirms he has spoken with Jason Pierre-Paul

Sam Bradford on target to start season opener for Eagles

Porn star offers to cook meal for any sports champion

Why everyone is wrong about Cowboys Tony Romo, Part 1

Oregon was only team drug tested during CFB Playoff?

Five 2nd year NBA players ready to take the next step

John Daly wants to be US Ryder Cup captain

Rodgers appears in another Olivia Munn workout video

Matt Hasselbeck is still getting random drug tests

Five teams that won at the MLB trade deadline

What should be expected from Aaron Rodgers in 2015?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is waiting for Tim Duncan to match him

Report: James Harden received $200 million offer to join Adidas

Adrian Peterson, son featured in Vikings' 'Family Day' tweet

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

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker