2012: A Chiefs Odyssey – Jason’s #3
Kev, I don’t know how you could even dream of leaving such pitching excellence off of the list….
#3 Lannimal Planet
….as Kevin said, the pitching for the Chiefs in August was just brilliant. Duke was fantastic, yes. The way the season careened and veered for John Lannan, though, is truly something to behold. In Spring Training, Lannan–like so many Big 8 defenses against Nebraska–fell victim to the option. Because he had not been sent down to the minors from the big league club in three separate years, Lannan was still a flexible player on the Nationals’ roster. When the Nationals chose Ross Detwiler as their fifth starter at the beginning of the season and selected Craig Stammen for their bullpen, Lannan was the guy who was shipped to Syracuse.
A year before–in 2012–Lannan started 33 games for the Nationals and put together a mighty fine ERA of 3.30. So, it seemed as though Lannan was a casualty of what economist-types call frictional unemployment. That’s basically where an employee can’t find the job that’s right for his or her skill set. Lannan was, as Major-League pitchers go, on the employment line.
Early in the season, being sent to Triple-A affected him. He admitted as much. His ERA through two months was 5.63. With two weeks left in his season, Lannan’s ERA was 4.89. Syracuse was en route to the South for quite a late road trip. Lannan, it was speculated, was headed to the big leagues, to replace Stephen Strasburg. If you haven’t heard, Strasburg didn’t pitch after September 7th. Also, M*A*S*H is not still in production, all the triceratops are dead and the iron age has finished.
Lannan was, essentially, playing out the string. He didn’t pitch like it. Lannan, as Kevin mentioned in passing, threw 18 innings, gave up 11 hits, struck out 12 and walked just one. He tossed two complete-game shutouts en route to Washington.
And now, he;s a Philadelphia Phillie. Good luck to John in finding his way back to the majors for, he hopes, the full season.