Pitching Potential: John Lannan Looking Good In AAA

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John Lannan came back from his injury looking a little rough. Prior to the injury, he had a 0.69 ERA in 13 innings. His first stint back came in relief and he allowed four runs on six hits in one inning. His first start back wasn’t much better allowing 7 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks. He did strike out four but he was only around for 3 and two-thirds innings.

From there he turned a corner a bit on May 11th, allowing three runs on six hits in six innings. He did walk three but he struck down seven River Cats in Sacramento. He took a no decision for the fourth time this season. He faced those same River Cats on the 16th of May but this time in Albuquerque.

Lannan would face MLB Veteran Kevin Correia in a rematch from a week earlier in Sacramento. The two had also met once when Lannan was with the Nationals. Correia won that battle.  Today would be a little different. He’d get his first win of the season, 6-4.

Lannan would allow a double to Brett Jackson and singles to Juan Perez and Travis Ishikawa in the first allowing a run and that would be all she wrote until the 7th.

Lannan got some help from some small ball in the first scoring a run and a big three-run fourth inning highlighted by hits from Ben Paulsen, Matt McBride and Jose Rivera before Lannan ended the rally with his bat. Lannan would also get some help in the fifth from a surprising 430-foot lead off home run by Roger Bernadina.

If Bernadina’s homer wasn’t surprising enough, it got more interesting on in the River Cats half of the 7th.

Carlos Triunfel, who was an Isotope last year, grounds out to third. Then Trevor Brown reaches on a fielding error by future Rockies Shortstop, Cristhian Adames. Correia would sacrifice him to second and Brett Jackson would double, scoring Brown. Then I saw something I had never seen in person.

Darren Ford stepped in and hit a hard liner to center. Bernadina pretended to be Superman, ever so slightly missing the ball. The ball rolls to the wall, Brett Jackson scores. Darren Ford rounds second, Cristhian Adames slightly bobbles, (it wasn’t his day in the field) and the throw to home is late! Darren Ford just hit a two-run inside-the-park home run. That. Was. Cool.

Juan Perez would strike out, which is way less cool but more effective for the Topes, to end the inning.

Lannan would leave the game up 5-4. He’d be replaced by Brooks Brown, who looked fantastic, allowing no hits or walks in his two innings. Tommy Kahlne come in for the save, allowing runners to reach second and third. He then went 3-0 on Jarrett Parker before striking him out. Kahlne followed that by striking out Brett Jackson on four pitches. Jackson was 3-4 before the K.  John Bowker would then pop out to end the game as Kahlne gets the save and Lannan gets his first win of the season.

Lannan was on point tonight. He did scatter 9 hits but that is because he was throwing strikes. 60 of 84 pitches were strikes tonight leading to no walks and two strike outs. It’s the first game of the season where the entire Isotopes pitching staff did not issue a walk. Lannan allowed 3 earned runs in seven innings with most of the damage coming in his last inning.

“I think the first inning I was a little up. It tends to happen.” Lannan said, “I thought me and G (Garneau) did a really good job out there.”

He has improved every appearance since his injury.

“That was a set back.” Lannan followed, “It gets frustrating when you body isn’t responding the way you want.”

He realized he still has things to fix, like that seventh inning.He knows he needs to clean that up a bit but he wasn’t upset with Roger Bernadina for laying out for that hit that ended up being an inside the park home run.

“I’ve played with Bernadina since 2007, I’ve seen him make a lot of plays like that.” Lannan said, “He laying out for me. He’s laying out for us.”

He didn’t change anything in the seventh the just were hitting really good pitches.  More from Lannan below.

Manager Glenallen hill couldn’t have been much happier with Lannan.

“There was a mix up in the inning where he gave up runs.” Hill said, “He had a really good outing tonight.”

Hill followed up saying the whole team needs to be more aggressive. More from Hill below.

In other notes, no one was really spectacular at the plate, except for Bernadina’s homerun. Cristian Adames, most likely replacement if Troy Tulowitzki is traded, went 0-3 with an error dropping his batting average to .330

The hottest Isotopes hitter of late has been first baseman Matt McBride, and he continued his good work on Saturday. He turned in a 3-for-4 night with a double and two runs scored and now has four straight multi-hit games. Since Wednesday, McBride is 10-for-16 with six runs scored, two doubles, two home runs, five RBI and a walk. He also has hits in eight of his last nine games. (Isotopes Press Release)

Topes continue the series, Sunday at 1:30 P.M. MT. The game will be on MILB.TV with Josh Suchon on the call.

Troy Olsen can be heard, talking Topes, every Friday around 5:35 p.m, on 610 KNML. Listen on tunein, IHeartRadio, or the 610 Website along with many other places. Listen in and let me know what you think! 

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