"Just like when he was with us, he's going to have starts where he throws well like he did tonight, and he's going to have starts where he doesn't throw that well," Zimmerman said of Lannan. "[No.] 3, 4, 5 guy, whatever you want to call it. But tonight he had his good stuff."
The Nationals did not score until the ninth and couldn't drum up any support for Dan Haren, who made his first start since June 22. Washington came into Citizens Bank Park fresh off of a four-game sweep of the Padres, and made a deal for veteran outfielder Scott Hairston on Monday. But the Nats' midseason push took a step back against Lannan as they fell five games behind the division-leading Braves.
After spending his first six seasons with the Nationals, Lannan signed a one-year deal with the Phillies in the offseason. He hasn't fared well and spent two months on the disabled list, but has had some of his best stuff against his old team.
In two starts against the Nationals, Lannan has allowed just two runs in 13 innings. He allowed only four hits -- two of which didn't leave the infield -- struck out four and walked two on 109 pitches Monday. However, he said facing his old team does not change his approach.
"You know, at this point I'm just looking for some consistency," Lannan said. "It didn't really matter who I was facing. I had to go out there and throw up some zeros and I really haven't done that all year. It's something to build off of."
Lannan had a lead to work with for most of the game as the Phillies struck for two runs in the first. Haren was making his first start since being placed on the disabled list for right shoulder inflammation and allowed four of the first five hitters to reach base.
Facing Domonic Brown, Haren gave up an RBI single that came back and hit the pitcher in the foot. The second run scored when the right-hander walked Darin Ruf with the bases loaded.
"I put us in a hole early, a little bit out of sorts in the first inning, honestly," Haren said. "I walked a couple of guys, and that ball hit back off of me. It was kind of a circus, and then after that it was all right."
Haren settled down and did not allow another run. He worked five innings, surrendered seven hits, walked three and struck out seven on 95 pitches in his 10th loss of the season. The 32-year-old said his shoulder felt better as the game went on and wished he had been able to log more innings.
"I was pleased with his command. I was pleased with his stuff," manager Davey Johnson said. "He threw a lot of pitches, and that's the reason I didn't let him go back out there, but he threw the ball really good. I'm glad to have him back."
The Nationals' runs came off of Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon, who got into trouble after allowing a single to Bryce Harper and a double to Zimmerman to begin the ninth. Harper scored on a sacrifice fly by Jayson Werth that reached the warning track in center field and had the home crowd nervous.
"He hit the heck out of that. I was hoping [it would go]," Johnson said of Werth's deep fly ball.
Zimmerman scored on a sacrifice fly by Adam LaRoche, but Papelbon got pinch-hitter Chad Tracy to fly out and end the game.