While Kevin Frandsen deservedly earned the spotlight for his clutch three-run game-winning pinch hit double with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning of Saturday’s 4-3 win over Kansas City, the job by starter John Lannan provided the Phillies a major boost.
The lefthander went seven innings, allowed three runs on five hits. More importantly, he kept the Phillies from having to use their middle relievers, who were torched for eight runs in Friday’s 13-4 loss to the Royals.
Mike Adams wasn’t smooth, needing 24 pitches, but he still pitched a scoreless eighth inning and then Antonio Bastardo earned the win with a scoreless ninth inning.
“First and foremost, you have to look at what John did, he pitched his (butt) off,” Frandsen said.
Lannan had a simple goal.
“I was just trying to keep my team in the game,” he said.
Not overpowering, Lannan was doing a great job changing speeds and also pounding the strike zone. He struck out five and didn’t walk a batter.
“Emotionally this kind of win is huge for us,” Lannan said.
He could have also said it was as big for him. After spending the majority of last season in Triple-A, following a 2011 season when he was 10-13 with a 3.70 ERA for the Washington Nationals, Lannan has to feel good to be performing at this level in the big leagues.
And for a team that was reeling after Friday’s pounding by the Royals, getting a quality start from their fifth starter was an impressive way to make his Phillies debut.