John Lannan pitched, on Wednesday, his last game of the 2009 season. For those of you who thought last year was a fluke and that he got lucky, for those of you that watched in pitch in August and said “well there you go, his luck is catching up with him”, well, I guess he continues to be really lucky. Like last year he won 9 games, this time tops on the team. Like last year he started over 30, this time 33 (a number that is highest in the league at this point). Like last year he finished with an ERA under 4.00. He actually finished with a 3.88 ERA, the best of his short career (0.03 lower than last year).
As for his other numbers, he pitched 206 1/3 innings which is 24 1/3 more than last year. He walked less people this year (68 as opposed to 72) but he stuck out less as well (89 vs 117). So his ratios were a little worse. His K/BB went from 1.63 down to 1.31. And his K/9 fell even further, from 5.79 to 3.88 He also forced 28 double plays this year, which is almost one per start. Through all this he managed to be the Nats best, most consistent starting pitcher. His final ERA was, among starting pitchers (as of today) with at least 180 IP, 16th in the NL. Not bad for a guy who many pundits said was going to have a significant dropoff in performance this year.
Finally, according to Baseball Prospectus, he finished second on the team in WARP (4.6) behind only Ryan Zimmerman. So here is a little chart of his starts, all 33 of them, in terms of innings he pitched (the columns) and ER he gave up (the lines). It’s in chronological order from left to right, the dashed vertical lines divvy up the months. The team’s wins are in blue, their losses in red. You’ll have to click on the picture to see it clearly. It’s just a little different perspective on what he’s done, without getting overly complex.