Wow. What a weekend it was. By taking three out of four from the Dodgers, the Braves have reinserted themselves into the National League playoff picture (according to Baseball Prospectus, they increased their odds if amking the playoffs by 12%). Of course, I missed all of the action as I took a long weekend and was otherwise occupied for most of it.
But, lucky you, I have returned. And, lucky Braves, the lowly Nationals come to town tonight. Taking the mound for Washington will be the lightly-skilled John Lannan (148 2/3 IP, 64 K, 44 BB).
His opponent will be Tommy Hanson, who is showing that he's slowly getting acclimated to big league hitters (monthly K/9 trend: 5.6, 6.5, 7.5). But he still needs to improve his control of the strike zone (29 BB in 67 IP). He'll need his best stuff tonight against the Nationals, who know how to work deep into counts (remember, it's their anemic pitching staff that has done them in).