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Lannan has rare rough start, could see time in 'pen

JUPITER, Fla. -- It was a self-described bad day at the office Monday for John Lannan.

The Mets left-hander allowed five earned runs in his fourth Grapefruit League start, which was his worst this spring after allowing only one earned run in his previous three outings. He gave up eight hits, issued four walks and threw 76 pitches, 42 for strikes, in 3 1/3 innings against the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium.

Lannan also was charged with a wild pitch and gave up a solo home run to pinch-hitter Reed Johnson in the fourth before being relieved by Jose Valverde. It was the walks that bothered Lannan the most, he said.

"You don't want to give free passes," said Lannan, whose ERA ballooned to 4.76. "It's frustrating, but it's something you got to go through sometimes, I guess, and move on."

Lannan, a non-roster invitee to Mets camp who spent two stints on the disabled list while with the Phillies last season, had allowed eight hits combined in his previous three outings. The Marlins matched that total in a 10-7 Miami win Monday.

"I just had a bad day, just couldn't find the strike zone," Lannan said. "Everything felt pretty good. I was just missing the plate. Curveball, slider, everything was kind of falling off and I really couldn't command the strike zone like I did the previous couple of outings. I'll talk to [pitching coach] Dan [Warthen] about what he saw and talk to the catcher about what he saw and then move on."

There's been speculation that Lannan's best chances of pitching for the Mets will be in the bullpen, at least to open the season.

"We've got to have John come out of the 'pen once, just to see what he looks like, and face a lefty," Collins said. "He's lengthened out enough. He threw 75 pitches today, and he's at the point where one more outing and he's at 90 and then we can get him a couple bullpen outings."

Steve Dorsey is a contributor to
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