Splitting Hairs, Scalps, Games: Nats Keep One Head Intact After Braves Doubleheader

The Nationals “forgot” that John Lannan is allergic to gatorade. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Final Scores: Braves 4, Nationals 0; Nationals 5, Braves 2

Dame of the Games:

Roger Bernadina: 5-7, R, RBI. The Shark hasn’t often been spotted of late. He was swimming beneath the surface, biding his time, waiting for some vulnerable, unsuspecting, overly-Brave surfers to happen by so he could rip off their legs. Roger had a feast of legs last night.

Shame of the Games:

Steve Lombardozzi: 0-9, 2 K. If Steve Lombardozzi were a cat and his at-bats yesterday were lives, he’d be dead.

——–

Coming off Friday’s game in which the good morale of the Nationals was wrenched out of their smiles, put in a meat grinder, sat on by a man who just died of obesity, and fed to a pack of rabid wolves, their prospects for Saturday’s doubleheader seemed grim.

They bounced back quickly in game one. By which I mean they bounced from the horrible place they were after Friday backwards to an even worse place. A place where they get shut out by someone who has hardly pitched in the majors in two years. A place where it’s eternally 2006 and all the women look like Sean Burnett in a wig. Let’s not be in that place any more, please.

Unable to cause any pleasure under the Sheets, the Nats found themselves just 1.5 games ahead of Atlanta and in serious risk of surrendering the series lead by the end of the weekend. Their greatest hope of fending off this onslaught and regaining some modicum of momentum was a man who hasn’t been seen in many moons around Nationals Park. An old veteran once beloved by his people because they lacked anyone better to love, now cast aside in the face of younger, stronger, more able men. A bitter man who probably hates the Nationals more than anything else.

A pettier man than John Lannan would have taken out his months of anger and buckets of tears on the team that spurned him. Indeed, it seemed at first as if Lannan was going to make the Nationals reap what they had sown when they sent him to AAA at the start of the season after years of loyal service. He gave up two runs in the first, and it appeared that the Nats had unwittingly given John Lannan his chance for revenge.

But Lannan had a change of heart. Perhaps he looked into the sad eyes of his teammates, who had played no part in orchestrating his exile, and took pity. Perhaps he followed his religious teachings to turn the other cheek in the face of cruelty. Perhaps he just wanted to do well so another team would want to trade for him. Whatever the reason, John Lannan decided to pitch a good game.

The Nationals would eventually overcome their early deficit and defeat the Braves. Lannan had saved the day, and maybe the Nationals season. The returning hero was showered in gatorade, adulation, and, finally, his own tears, after he was sent back to the minors.

Thanks for the win, John! Hope you enjoyed your several-minute reprieve from crippling depression. See you soon or never.

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