To John Lannan, every Phillies batter has a bright red bulls-eye on his body when he steps to the plate. As a result, to us phans, Lannan is the subject of a deep unrelenting passionate ethical debate about the proper way to punish the morally reprehensible who walk among us: treat them as expendable life forms or let the world enact its vengeance in a deeply satisfying way without adding more violence to our lives. I know I side with the Stephen Brights of the word, but hey, if my fellow co-bloggers want to align themselves with the Lynn Abrahams of the world, then so be it. We can agree to disagree on this blog (except about whether Chipper Jones and the Braves suck - they just do).
Anyway, Lannan takes his weapon of choice, his left arm, to the mound tonight to face Roy Oswalt in his second post-DL appearance. The Phillies will try to right the ship after last night's slip-up against Livan Hernandez. The Phillies have already faced Lannan three times this season and are 2-1 against him. Oswalt has faced the Nationals once, a tough 2-1 loss.
When it comes down to it, with a 7.5 game lead in the NL, the Phillies most important task tonight is to escape the game with everyone's limbs, digits, ligaments, and tendons intact. Given the team's history with Lannan, that will be no small accomplishment.