When the subject of Phillies killers is bandied about, such names as Jorge Cantu, Rod Barajas and Cody Ross are often mentioned. However, perhaps the greatest Phillies killer is John Lannan.
The Nationals starting pitcher broke Chase Utley’s hand during the first start of his career, in July of 2007. In April of 2009, Cole Hamels twisted his ankle while fielding a bunt from Lannan. Last month, Lannan drilled Ryan Howard in the elbow. After the Phillies slugger was awarded first base, Howard sprained his ankle at second base on the next play.
“It is weird that some unfortunate things have happened to the Phillies while I was on the mound or at the plate,” Lannan said. “I never had any bad intentions. But after the last thing happened with Howard I got some grief [from the Phillies]. The guys were just kidding around. They know it’s all just a coincidence.”
Luckily the Phillies will avoid Lannan this weekend, but they may see him when they face the Nationals again in a three-game set in Washington to end the season (Sept. 27-29).
“I’m not trying to hurt the Phillies. I’m trying to beat them, but not harm anybody on that team. The guys on the team know that,” Lannan said.