John Lannan took the mound under the arch in St. Louis Friday night looking for redemption.
Following a start that was arguably the worst in his career, the lefty pitched purposefully with his parents looking on in the stands. Allowing only three hits and one run through the first seven innings, Lannan looked like he would cruise to his ninth win of the year.
With one out in the bottom of the eight however Lannan lost focus, even if just for a moment and fell behind to weak hitting Khalil Greene to a 3-0 count. Underestimating Greene’s bat Lannan threw a meat pitch across the plate for a taken strike one. Confident now that he could just place strikes in the zone against the career .246 hitter, Lannan hung a slider over the heart of the plate. The ball sailed over the left field fence as Greene tied the game with his sixth homer of the year.
Going into the top of the ninth Elijah Dukes smacked a one out double to right, which was feet from leaving the ballpark. However with the back of the order at the plate, both Bard and Gonzalez were retired in order and the Nats entered the bottom of the ninth still tied.
In the bottom of the inning Riggleman opted to put Jason Bergman in and not Nats closer Mike MacDougal to face Albert Pujols who led off the inning. On a 2-0 count Bergman hung a slider to the best hitter in the game, and the entire ballpark knew immediately at the point of contact that the game was over. Pujols had launched his 41st homer of the season, and it was a walk off bomb for the Red Birds.